Heed Chats with NFL Wife Michel Sproles on Surviving Breast Cancer & The Pink Line!
With NFL season in full swing, Heed had the opportunity to chat with the beautiful Michel Sproles, businesswoman and wife of Philadelphia Eagles player, Darren Sproles (formerly of the New Orleans Saints). Michel recently launched her new breast cancer awareness campaign called The Pink Line Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. She did a celebrity photo shoot in LA, featuring Eva Marcille, Meelah Williams of R&B Divas, Emily B and more, and kicked off the campaign with a health fair back in July, partnering with the Susan G. Komen LA County Affiliates Circle of Promise for African Americans Initiative. The Pink Line, which is the philanthropic portion of her highly successful 7 Image Premium Indian Extension Line, will provide wigs and hair units for breast cancer patients and survivors.
This is very important to Michel as she was diagnosed with Stage 0 Breast Cancer in 2012 and underwent a double mastectomy as her treatment and reconstructive breast surgery immediately following. Heed was very excited to chat with Michel, especially as this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Check out the full interview and be sure to support the continuing research of Breast Cancer!
Mike Sanford: Hey Michele, how are you today?
Michel Sproles: I’m fine and yourself?
Mike Sanford: I’m pretty good! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so I have no complaints!
Michel Sproles: Yes! It’s hot!
Mike Sanford: Very, very hot! [laughs] So, first of all thank you for chatting with Heed Magazine about your many endeavors and we’re looking forward to sharing your story with our readers!
Michel Sproles: Aw, thank you!
Mike Sanford: You’re very welcome! I want to jump right in, so tell us who you are.
Michel Sproles: Well, I am a wife, a mother and an entrepreneur. I wear many, many hats and I have so much going on! I’m probably the busiest person next to President Obama! [laughs]
Mike Sanford: So, one of those hats you wear is running your Pink Line Breast Cancer Awareness campaign! Can you tell us a little about that and how it got started?
Michel Sproles: Okay so, first off I am a Stage 0 breast cancer survivor. A lot of people are not necessarily familiar with that early form of breast cancer. The medical term for it is Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, the short version of that is DCIS. It basically means there are cancer cells confined to the milk ducts. Now the tricky thing about that is medically they don’t know if those cancer cells will ever come out of the milk ducts to become an invasive cancer. The flipside of it is, it could do nothing. So, basically for me when I found out that I had it I just wanted to be proactive and do all of things I could do to make sure that in the future nothing happened in terms of breast cancer for me. I was really more so being proactive, so me being a survivor is the reason why I’m even involved with the charity concerning breast cancer at all. But, I really wanted to do the Pink Line campaign, because one day I was reading through a magazine and I came across a breast cancer awareness ad. It had two Caucasian beautiful women, and it was a beautiful ad but I didn’t feel like the ad was speaking to me. I noticed that in a lot of breast cancer awareness ads, they don’t really speak to the underserved communities or women of color, so I really wanted to do something that targeted our demographic and target my generation. We are actually the new leading cases of breast cancer diagnosis, women under the age of 35.
Mike Sanford: Wow!
Michel Sproles: So, I wanted to make sure I did something that was attractive to our generation and that would capture our attention. You know, make people want to learn more about the disease and become more diligent in there own health. So that’s why I got involved with it.
Mike Sanford: I saw your new campaign with all of those beautiful women.
Michel Sproles: [laughs]
Mike Sanford: Some of them are very well known so tell me how you were able to bring that all together.
Michel Sproles: Well, a lot of it was just having an incredible PR team. But also, some of the ladies are mutual friends of current friends. So, it was kind of like a word of mouth type of thing. People can look at a magazine and see my face or other survivors but unfortunately that’s not going to attract the attention of the reader so we really wanted to get some people involved that have some influence on the community and who are connected to our generation. So, that was the reason why we decided to reach out to some people and say ‘hey, this is what we’re doing.’ Everybody was really excited about it and was on board. You know, no one charged. It was amazing! I definitely set it up and made the environment top notch! We got together and just said we’re going to do this because so many of us under a certain age feel invincible like nothing can happen to us. I thought it was important that people know that this can happen and it is happening, we’re just not hearing about it.
Another one of the young ladies that participated is a breast cancer survivor. She had Stage 0 in one breast, and actually had Stage 1 in the other.
Mike Sanford: Wow!
Michel Sproles: Yeah.
Mike Sanford: Are you from LA?
Michel Sproles: I am! I was born and raised in LA!
Mike Sanford: So, how was making the transition to Philly with your husband? I know you guys must travel a lot, so how do you balance it all?
Michel Sproles: Believe it or not the biggest thing is time management. I know that sounds really cliché, but it is. Just knowing that from 8 in the morning until maybe 6 in the evening is basically the time I have carved out to do business. Any time after 6 I’m really in mommy mode and wife mode and I really try to dedicate that time to my family. Another thing is my husband and I have a home base and even though this is the third team he’s been on, our home is in California so during the off-season months we’re there. By the grace of God we’ve been in places a long time, so we haven’t moved around a lot. I mean he was on the Chargers for 6 years, he was with the Saints for 3 years and now this is our 1st Season with the Eagles and he’ll be here for 3 years by the Grace of God. It’s not been that bad because our kids are young, so we haven’t had to put them in and out of schools. I kind of just make sure wherever we are; I make it home so it doesn’t really feel like we’re moving around a lot.
Mike Sanford: With that, you probably have incredible relationship advice. What are your top 2 bits of advice?
Michel Sproles: Well, my first thing would be to communicate. I think that is probably one of the things that actually end marriages, is lack of communication. Just being in open communication at all times is probably my number one thing. And then, just make sure you’re friends. More than anything, and my grandmother gave me this advice, she said ‘you’re going to fall in and out love. It’s just going to happen, but if you like the person, then it will be ok.’ I feel like us being friends and having a good time with one another and being able to laugh is really important and everything else, to me, just kind of falls into play.
Mike Sanford: Yeah, I think I agree with you. So, I’m hearing you’re also pursuing another degree? In addition to all of that!
Michel Sproles: I am! And you know what, God bless me because I am so tired and I’m at my wits end with this! But I’m one of those people, if I say I’m going to do something and I start it then I have to complete it. I was actually in a master’s program when I graduated with my bachelors and then I met my husband! Fell in love and low and behold, I’m like screw this masters! [laughs] So, I was in Vegas at the time and I was moving back to California, so I put that on the back burner. But it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do and it’s always been a goal of mine.
Mike Sanford: What are you studying?
Michel Sproles: My masters is going to be in Leadership Studies and basically that degree is for people who have their own businesses, who are consultants, people with non-profits. I should have gotten an MBA, but I don’t like math, so I’m going to do any degree that will require me to do math! [Laughs]
Mike Sanford: That’s fair! [laughs]
Michel Sproles: Yeah, I know my strengths and that’s not one of them!
Mike Sanford: So, in sticking with the theme of business, you own a hair salon?
Michel Sproles: I do! It’s in San Diego, it’s called Seven Image Salon. Everyone always asks me where I got that name from. Basically, seven is derived from the bible and it means complete. We do everything there. We do hair, skincare, waxing, makeup and we also do image consulting. So, it’s kind of like a complete image. Actually, the pink line campaign is to bring about breast cancer awareness, but the Pink Line itself is actually a division of my hair line. And what we’ll be doing with that is making hair units and wigs for chemotherapy patients and breast cancer survivors. So, it all comes full circle.
Mike Sanford: How would you define beauty? I mean in this age, beauty is defined by so many things and sometimes those things aren’t fair. What is your definition of beauty?
Michel Sproles: That’s actually a really good question and it kind of has me stumped! But, I would define beauty as how you feel on the inside. Because on the outside there’s so much that can be done to make a person look a certain way. But I definitely feel like beauty does start from within.