the fiercegrrl fund
I still have found very few words to adequately express the shock and sadness I am feeling since I found out that a dear, sweet friend of mine was diagnosed with stage IIIc ovarian cancer. It was the end of January when I started putting Facebook status updates together like backwards puzzle pieces for a final product that would literally turn my perception of youth and health upside down. My friend Nicole, a beautiful and strong fierce queer grrl and incredibly inspiring crafter and maker, found out at the culmination of a number of tests that she was facing a life threatening battle with cancer. A few weeks ago, she had tumors (the size of FRUIT...and I'm not talking grapes! This still astounds me) removed from her ovaries, a radical hysterectomy and exploratory surgery performed on the rest of the organs throughout her torso. She is 26 years-old.
My grandfather died from lung cancer (after quitting smoking decades before) when I was seven years old, and my grandmother died of lung/brain/stomach cancer when I was ten. My mother is a survivor of uterine cancer, my aunt has survived breast cancer, my cousin has survived cancer. A new and dear friend Jonathan, who was one of those people I could've been the best of friends with, died too soon for our friendship to bloom from leukemia complications. A longtime e-friend of mine has battled breast cancer for years and years and years, and remained one of the most steadfast and strong people I know. One of the sweetest people I have ever known in the entire landscape of my life passed away last year from enduring complications from childhood cancer. Cancer is evil.
What is just as evil, in the case of my friend Nicole, is that health insurance seems to be something of a luxury to a class of Americans who can also afford easy access to health care. Unable to work at all during her treatment, she is without health insurance and incapable of affording many of her very basic needs. I cannot imagine dealing with cancer under the most average conditions, let alone this. When I was talking to my mother today about this, she reminded me that I'd have the luxury of insurance, short and long-term disability and various other things that would remove the stress of just getting by from my treatment plan. Nicole doesn't have that, and I feel it's my duty as someone with energy, smarts and time to do something to help. I put together the fiercegrrl fund to help, if for no other purpose, support Nicole with creature comforts that she couldn't afford otherwise. Over the coming weeks and months, I hope to have auctions set up with contributions from crafters and small businesses with all the funds going directly to Nicole.
If you would like to help, please send me an e-mail. Anything and everything is appreciated.
Oh, and one more thing...GO HUG THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE.