Photography by Lauren Lieberman
Aime Dunstan is a survivor in more ways than one. She lost her mother at age 12, put herself through journalism school at the University of Florida, graduated at age 20 and moved to the Palm Beach area, where she reported on the social scene for several publications before starting her own business, It! Weddings and Events. Not even cancer got in her way: She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in July (at age 30) and underwent six months of chemotherapy—while working full time and being a mom to her infant son, Barrett. Aime was declared cancer-free in February and shared her inspiring story at the American Cancer Society’s gala.
Words to live by: "Be authentic. Be powerful. Be in love with life." - Aime.
Most influential person in her life: My mother. She was an incredible dreamer. She lived life to the fullest and taught me you can have it all.
Why she started her business: I just fell in love with the idea that I could contribute to the bottom lines of these charities by working behind the scenes and getting the message out through public relations and events.
Her first sign of cancer: I was super itchy everywhere from head to toe. I would wake up in the middle of the night with a hairbrush and scratch myself. This went on for two years.
Her reaction to the diagnosis: Part of me was happy because I finally had an answer. I wasn’t crazy. But obviously, when you have cancer, it’s a scary thing.
Quote that inspires her: Do unto others as you would have done to you.
Quality she admires most in a person: Integrity.
Local hotspot: I’m obsessed with the juice bar at Amici Market. I’m there almost every day.
Stress reliever: Champagne!
Guilty pleasure: Champagne!
What kept her going through her illness: I was most concerned with giving my son a normal upbringing and proceeding as I would if I didn’t have cancer.
Best advice she received: A friend told me to visualize the chemo going through every part of my body and healing me.
Most prized possession: I adore collecting books. Being surrounded by stacks and stacks of them comforts me.
Would want to have dinner with: Condoleezza Rice.
What she learned from having cancer: You never know how loved you are until you go through an experience like this, when people worry they might lose you.
Title of her autobiography: Bring it on!