By Mollie Mansfield
A stunning terminally ill woman claims transforming into Marilyn Monroe has given her a reason to fight.
Tiffany Senter, 25, from Shasta County, California, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just seven days old – and was not believed to make it past two weeks old.
However, after years of being hospitalised and her condition progressing, at just 17 she was given her first double lung transplant.
But when her new lungs failed four years later, Tiffany had to have her final double lung transplant in 2017 – but has been told that if this set of lungs are also rejected by her body, there will be nothing else that can be done.
Now, she finds solace in transforming herself into Marilyn Monroe and says her idol has helped her to accept her disability, much like the model accepted her ‘flaws’.
Tiffany said: “I was bedridden whilst waiting for my second lung transplant, so started to practice different make-up looks to give me something to do.
“When searching tutorials online, I started to realise how much I loved old-fashioned, pin-up looks, which naturally led me to Marilyn Monroe.
“As time went on, looking at quotes of hers and realising how much she accepted her own flaws and wasn’t the conventional beautiful woman that you’d see on magazine covers today, I started relating to her – because my disability has left me with flaws too.
“Now I use Marilyn Monroe as my every day inspiration, and transforming into her and having her ethos is giving me reason to fight – despite knowing my illness is now terminal.”
After initially being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just a week old, doctors’ didn’t believe she would survive to more than a couple of weeks.
But as time went on, Tiffany continued to fight up until she was 17-years-old, when she had her first double lung transplant.
She said: “When I was born my parents were told that they shouldn’t take me home, because it was likely that I was going to die.
“But after I got through the first few months of life, I started to get stronger and it wasn’t until I was ten-years-old that I started going into the hospital for three weeks at a time, once a year, to get administered antibiotics and physical therapy for my lungs.
“As the years went on I had to start going to an independent school, as the germs from the other children were too dangerous for me, and by the age of 14, I was going to hospital three times a year.
“Over time my lungs were starting to deteriorate, so I was listed for a double lung transplant at 16, and when I was 17 I received my first new pair of lungs.”
But after just four years of having her replacement lungs, her body started to reject them, and by the age of 23, Tiffany was having her second, and final lung transplant.
She explained: “After having my second lung transplant, I was told that this was the last one I would be able to have and that there isn’t much that they would be able to do if this one fails.
“And this transplant has already started to fail. I am currently sat on 60 percent lung function and I take 70 pills a day to try and keep my lungs healthy.
“However, I know that at some point there won’t be any other options and that I will die – but I’m trying to stay positive.
“I have been told that I wouldn’t reach my teenage years, and no one thought I would ever make it to 25, so I know I can fight against this prediction too!”
Alongside continually raising awareness for cystic fibrosis, Tiffany admits that transforming into her inspiration, Marilyn Monroe, has helped her to continue her fight.
She said: “I know I am dying, but when I look in the mirror and my make-up and hair is done like Marilyn Monroe’s, it makes me feel so much better.
“Transforming into her is something that started as a hobby, but over time I have become really passionate about how I look when I do so and about learning more about her as a person.
“She’s a real woman and she had flaws, but always embraced them. For years I have been covered in scars and have many other flaws, and Marilyn makes me feel like I can accept them.
“People often tell me how much I look like her too, which gives me great confidence, and overall has made me realise I can still be beautiful with my flaws.”