An Influential Upbringing

Lauren Wasser, a model and advocate, has overcome significant challenges to become a prominent figure in the fashion industry. Despite losing both her legs to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from a tampon in 2012, she refused to let it define her. Today, she uses her platform to raise awareness about TSS and the need for better regulation of menstrual products, advocating for women’s health and safety.

Born into a family of models in California, Lauren Wasser was destined for the fashion world. Both her parents being part of the industry, it was natural for her to follow in their footsteps. Her debut in Vogue alongside her mother at just 4 months old highlighted her early connection to fashion.

Before her life took a dramatic turn, Lauren excelled as a basketball player, earning a prestigious athletic scholarship. Despite her success in sports, she chose to pursue modeling while maintaining her active lifestyle, unaware of the profound changes awaiting her.

At 24, Lauren underwent a life-altering experience, losing both her legs. Recounting her story on The Diary of a CEO podcast, she revealed, “I lost both of my legs because of a tampon.”

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare condition caused by the overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, leading to the release of a harmful toxin into the bloodstream. Lauren’s battle with TSS began with flu-like symptoms and progressed to renal failure, followed by two heart attacks. With her life hanging by a thread, doctors induced a coma to save her.

Emerging from a ten-day coma, Lauren faced a harsh reality. Her feet were engulfed in flames, and gangrene had set in. Eventually, she made the agonizing decision to amputate her right leg, followed by her left leg in 2018.

Despite her ordeal, Lauren has become a vocal advocate, raising awareness about TSS and pushing for safer menstrual products. She highlights the harmful ingredients in tampons, such as chlorine bleach and synthetic fibers, which can endanger health. Partnering with Madeline Mosby, a mother who lost her daughter to TSS, they aim to make a difference together.

Despite the challenges, Lauren made a triumphant return to modeling. Known as “the girl with the golden legs,” she symbolizes beauty and resilience. Embracing her new reality, she wears prosthetics with a golden hue, signifying acceptance and celebrating her unique journey.