My RL has been quite a mess lately….second cancer…living away from home to treat…spending my 20th wedding anniversary with a tumor and radiation burns…and SL has been a refuge in a way that it’s never been before. It’s always been fun and a way to expand my horizons and feed my imagination, but lately, it’s been the only place I feel whole.
A few weeks ago, a few of my friends that I dance with who are also cancer survivors…one with a second cancer of her own, were bitching about how much cancer sucks and an idea was born. Let’s do a cancer sucks show! We could have some snappy Tshirts made that say cancer sucks and we could vent some of our frustration in our dances. This was a crazy, last minute idea that began to grow like the tumor in my shoulder…except this time it was good.
We tossed the idea out to the Winds staff and Lina volunteered to make us Tshirts. I also reached out to some friends, one who was a survivor as well and one who works for the american cancer society IRL and does a ton of fundraising in second life and we got some fancy donation kiosks and one beautiful poster idea where three of our four current survivors were featured: Jo, SoCo and I. Immy was missing 😦 The poster idea was SoCo’s and Ray Lobo, both of Phoenix brought us the kiosks. Lina took our beautiful picture.
The first thing that amazed me about this show was that it became a huge team effort. Every single dancer at Winds was involved in some way. We had huge sets that required lots of dancers, we needed the theater decorated, we needed to get the word out and DQ helped us with coming up with the idea to do a special announcement for the show with the poster, not our usual announcement. Thank you Fuki! We also needed a few sets, not everyone can come up with a “cancer” set at the last second, so dancers from other troupes who have guested or done back up at Winds volunteered.
The show itself was an empowering, beautiful, tear-filled tribute to the strength of the human spirit when it comes to dealing with cancer. 3 survivors did sets and the tissues came out, but all of them spoke to surviving and beating cancer. 5 other sets were just as amazing and beautiful and spoke for caregivers and friends who have had to stand by feeling helpless while a loved one took on this 21st century plague. If you ever doubted that dance in SL could reach out and touch RL people, you should have been there.
The second thing that amazed me about this show was our patrons and dancers generosity. We raised over 150K Lindens that went to the American Cancer Society through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. This amount..which is over $600 US dollars is enough for a patient to stay for free for a week at an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. I was floored. Speechless. Stunned.
The real world has seemed like one of Dante’s circles of hell lately. Shootings, bombings, running over people and hatred so strong it jumps out of media and smacks you in the face. For an hour and a half….67 avatars fought back and made the world a better place…both inworld and out for one lucky patient. You guys are amazing; don’t ever forget it!