FIRST TIMES: That Day Nadya Thought She Was Dying

Nadya Okamoto, a young activist and student working to bring menstrual products to homeless women, tells us about the day she thought would be her last.

"On December 26th, 2010, I went to the bathroom right before my sisters and I headed to the airport for a holiday vacation, and when I looked down at my underwear, I began to cry. In that moment, I believed that I was dying. I had felt abdominal pains the week leading up until that moment, and now before my eyes, I was bleeding from the inside out.

Nadya at 13 with her mother

"I stripped off my underwear, and feeling comfortable living in an all-girl household, ran to the living room and held the bloody scene for my mother to see. I told her I loved her through my tears, apologized for saying goodbye at such a young age. I truly thought I was dying. But, as I expressed this concern to my mother, showing her my bloody underwear, a smile broke onto her face. She gave me a hug and proceeded to skip around with me celebrating: You’re a woman! You’re a woman!

Yes, I had gotten my period."

Nadya Okamoto, 18, Student/Activist/Founder of Camions of Care

Learn more about Nadya and her foundation, Camions of Care, which brings menstrual products (including LENA cups!) to homeless women across the U.S. 

FIRST TIMES: Vili Was Neither Empowered nor Disempowered

FIRST TIMES: Vili Was Neither Empowered nor Disempowered

Vili Petrova, founder of LENA, talks about that very first time that left her wanting more explanation and celebration.

FIRST TIMES: Roberta Wore White

FIRST TIMES: Roberta Wore White

Roberta remembers her very first period... and so does the whole softball team.

FIRST TIMES: Kate Faked It For Years

FIRST TIMES: Kate Faked It For Years

Kate Messinger, a writer living in Brooklyn, remembers the many years she spent wishing for a period, thinking that at 16 and still not a woman, she must be a freak of nature.

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