Spreading The Love

Cancer sucks. I learned this when my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. I was five years old. Furthermore, cancer not only affects the individual, but whole families and communities.

The good thing is that some cancers can be detected early.

Danger S.

Stephanie (aka Disaster S.) of the Tallahassee Roller Girls was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. Despite quick treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer has spread. She is now receiving Hospice care, according to the event’s Facebook page. (You can read more about Stephanie’s story here.)

The derby community has rallied around her, founding Spread the Love, “a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to fund-raising in order to support those like Stephanie who are fighting cervical cancer and promoting awareness of the importance of early detection through regular testing.” Currently, the money being raised is going to Stephanie cover her daily expenses, although in the future, they hope to expand to help others fight cervical cancer and provide assistance in the prevention and detection of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, we live in a country where many do not get preventative care or simple screenings until it is too late.

Today, I attended a fundraiser where many of the derby girls shaved their heads, as the result of having met their fund-raising goals. It was a powerful testament to the power of friendships, sisterhood, and teammates. (NOTE TO SELF: Possibly way to expand research on women in athletics. Beyond gendered bodies, sisterhood and bonding?)

Low Maim getting her head shaved, having exceeded her fund-raising goal of $500.

It was moving, and I wanted to share.

And for women and all cervix possessing folks, get your pap smears. Yes, it sucks, but really, it only takes a few seconds out of your year.

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