Sabrina "Sabre" Ocasio

Sabre is a former model whose career was affected due to complications from an illness known as Graves disease.  Despite that setback that tried to stop her, she persevered and has truly made a huge mark in not only the entertainment industry but also in her humanitarian endeavors.  She works with many accomplished stars who have been featured on networks such as TV One and TLC, including the Tiara Twins as well as Madeline Stuart, a model living with Downs Syndrome.  Of all the accomplishments in her career, one of her most rewarding has been starting a non-profit to support and bring awareness to those living with autoimmune diseases...

Tell us a little about yourself and how you were discovered and got started in the modeling industry.

I initially got started walking through New York from a famous photographer, Sean Andrade and my agent, Ms. Carolyn from Barbizion Modeling School.  Ms. Carolyn knows me better than myself and helped to guide my career.  Also, a man by the name of Dr. Jerry Murphy from Chestnut Hill was a huge inspiration and influence for me working with some top notch designers. 

 

Tell us about your experiences serving as the official modeling coach for TLC’s Tiara Twins, Madeline Stuart as well as mentoring the JMG Boyz.

I met and began working with the Tiara twins about 3 years ago and to see how much they have grown since then has been a phenomenal experience. I am so very proud of them!  Aly is an aspiring Designer, who will give any adult a run for their money and Gia is a supermodel in the making.  Working with Gia and watching her grow and win competitions on the runway… it just makes me shiver to see her do her thing.

When I met Madeline Stuart, her career was already soaring.  I knew that she suffered from an autoimmune disease (Downs Syndrome) like myself, and I really wanted to see her fulfill her dream of walking the runway in a Fashion Show… and why not be the first to walk in a Fashion Show that was raising awareness for autoimmune diseases in fashion’s capital, New York City?! That is just what happened and it was very fitting for her career. 

I met the JMGBoyz years ago and they were also already making a name for themselves in Atlanta and now they have moved on to Hollywood! Their family has shown me support with countless of my autoimmune disease awareness events.  When their mom tells you that she will only do your show, it is a remarkable feeling and I am so thankful and honored!

Two additional rising stars that I have worked with are named Alyssa and Malia, both of whom I met three years ago.  Alyssa has made so many remarkable accomplishments from Disney movies to TV commercials.  I saw potential and knew she was a star and I sent her over to Icon Models where she was signed.. the rest is history!

Malia has performed in countless plays and been in many ads.  She is an amazing kid who beat the odds that were stacked against her.  I saw something in her that some others didn’t and it was a huge pleasure to get her signed with Icon Models as well.

 

For those that may not be familiar, talk to us about Graves disease and how it has affected your career? How have you overcome its challenges and how are you now using it to empower yourself and others?

Dealing with Graves has made my life hell; I am no longer able to travel due to swelling all over my body, Summer is my nightmare due to sun sensitivity and my heart… not the same anymore, and I do not only mean physically.  This autoimmune disease has attacked my organs and the name suits the disease, it will take you to your grave if you are not careful. The battle is very real, but, with all that being said, I feel that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. 

Through this journey, I have learned that life has its ups and downs and sometimes I feel that all of my hard work is in vain.  But when I see all that I have done begin to take motion and flourish, I smile, knowing that the world is watching! Some forget the reasoning behind the fashion shows and events that I curate, but that is my purpose and the vehicle in which I use to empower others as well as myself.  I am saving my life as well as others through these awareness events. 

 

 What is your life’s motto and what can we expect from you in the near future?

I am so excited to have my non-profit in full effect!  My goal is to open centers in both my hometown as well as another location in the Northeast.  This center will give people like me, who suffer from rare autoimmune diseases, a ray of light and a tunnel of hope.  It will be a place for all people to share their stories, struggles, and the effects of their autoimmune diseases. 

My life’s motto:  “As long as I remember that my reward does not come from any man and that God is in charge, I can overcome any trials and tribulations set before me… I am Sabre.”

You can keep up with all that Sabre has going on via her Instagram: @Sabreinc

Sabre on the cover of Le Reve magazine

Sabre on the cover of Le Reve magazine