Link for Donations. www.gofundme.com/killertatas
Fandom, one of our most devoted members needs our help. Please bear with me as I tell you a little story…
Many of us in the SPN fandom are friends and followers of Lia, aka bangingpatchouli. Chances are you’ve seen her extensive meta cross your dash over the last several years or enjoyed one of her dozens of deep, dark, twisty fics over on her sylsdarkplace account on Live Journal or AO3. Or maybe you were a reader of her lighter stuff and Wincest fics on her old Cheebles LJ (now on sylsdarkplace). What you may not know, however, is that she’s started a side blog about her recent breast cancer diagnosis: killertatas.
On April 9th, after a month of testing that included a mammogram, an ultrasound, and a needle biopsy, the doctors told Lia she has invasive carcinoma that is negative for hormone receptors but positive for HER2, which is an aggressive form of cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer has already spread to three lymph nodes, too. In short, it’s serious.
Our friend just completed her first two chemo sessions in May and faces four more chemo sessions every three weeks through August. This fall, she’ll have a radical double mastectomy and eventual reconstruction. And even after all that, she will still have an additional nine months of Herceptin treatment to continue to target the aggressive HER2 cancer and keep it from returning and spreading, as it likes to do. All in all, it’s going to be a long year for her.
Round one of chemo wasn’t so bad – her mouth and muscles hurt and her hair fell out. Her second round last Thursday was another story – she’s in bed exhausted and hurting now, and each treatment is going to be worse than the last. This is not going to be easy, and the fact that she has to keep working and be her family’s only source of income and health insurance during her battle against cancer only makes it harder. And the fact that she has to travel three hours round-trip for all of her doctor’s appointments and treatments and surgeries only makes her fight more expensive. The bills are already starting to pile up, and she’s facing a severe financial crisis to match her health crisis. Health care here in the U.S. is a fiscal disaster, and she needs your help desperately.
Speaking from a strictly personal perspective, when Lia told me about her diagnosis, I was devastated to learn that my dear friend and such a prolific contributor to our fandom was suddenly in a fight for her life at such a young age. I’ll be honest, Lia IS the fandom for me, and I know I’m not alone when I feel and say that, because all of you out there feel the same way about your fandom friends. I know every single one of you has at least one Lia. If they weren’t here or if they went away, none of it would be the same for you. We make this experience for each other, and these are some of our best and closest friendships for many of us. Well, that’s how Lia is for me. I felt immediately helpless and angry to know I was going to have to watch her battle from afar, since we have 1250 miles between us – and I know all of you can relate to the pain and frustration of the distance that usually comes with online friendships. The internet is a double-edged sword that way; it introduces us to soulmates we often will never get to touch – or only get to touch for short visits and very rarely. Still, it provides us with a way to find each other and the comfort we get from the knowledge that there are other people like us out there. And, thanks to fundraising sites like GoFundMe, it also provides us with a way to help and support each other even from a world away.
I quickly got sick of feeling helpless about my friend’s cancer and realized that I don’t have to and neither does Lia, because she has the SPNFamily behind her, and we all know that this family comes running when one of us needs help. I’ve seen y’all do some truly amazing things on each other’s behalves, and I’m praying y’all can do it again now. I know that this fandom can move mountains, and so I’m asking – begging – for your help to move a mountain for one of our own right now. I don’t have a huge fiscal goal for this fundraiser – even if it just helps with gas and meals when they travel to treatments or provides something to offset the cost of wigs or prescriptions. Money to help Lia and her husband get a hotel room if she’s too sick to travel home from chemo or if her husband needs a place to stay while he’s down there with her for her surgery would be great. My personal goal is enough financial assistance for her to get a massage after her chemo treatments to help with pain and lower her stress hormones, since cancer feeds on stress. She’s having a lot of muscle pain, and the drugs they’ve given her for it make her sick and tired on top of being sick and tired. I don’t think she’s ever had a massage, and they really help with anxiety and healing. It’s important that she be able to relax and rest as much as possible – which is difficult when you’re the breadwinner. We might be able to help her do that and beat this thing. And Chuck knows, if we’re able to go above and beyond to help pay her mounting medical bills, even better! I would not be surprised if y’all really come through and make that happen.
Lia’s a fighter, but she’s already really feeling the financial pinch after just two chemo treatments, and she has a long row to hoe ahead of her. I have to be honest – I don’t know how they’re going to make it if we don’t help, and so I’m asking you to rally behind her. I also think she needs to feel like people care and are in this fight with her. She’s given so much to this community, and she really needs it to give back to help her always keep fighting. She has love and support in her real life, but we need to do it here, too – and with our large numbers, we have the capacity to make the biggest difference for her. Small donations really add up fast. Even donations of $5 and a quick reblog letting your followers know that you gave and urging them to do the same will mean SO much. Enough folks contributing and sharing in any way that is comfortable for them will really add up to pay for meals, gas, meds, bills, and lots of little things that are just nickel-and-diming Lia to death. Literally. After five years with us, she is a cornerstone of this fandom and one of my best friends. I – we – just can’t lose her. Please, PLEASE help me help her. Click the link at the top of this post or go to gofundme.com/killertatas.
Every little bit helps. You have the power to change and even save a life. Please donate what you can. Reblog the link and post it on your Twitter or LJ or any other social media you use. And please follow Lia’s fight at killertatas. Spread the word far and wide and help our sister kick the shit out of cancer, SPNFamily!