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support Chiara's surgery and recovery

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Community, I am coming to you as I embark on a really big transition.

After more than a decade of struggling with fibroids, severe anemia, and adenomyosis, I am having major surgery at the end of July.

These conditions have shaped my life in ways that are gifts, bringing me into Healing Justice work and a renewed commitment to community care.

I was able to manage some of the symptoms and avoid surgery for a long time. And then the pandemic hit.
In these past few years the fibroids doubled in size, causing uncontrolled bleeding, intense pain, vertigo, palpitations, severe anemia, memory issues, shortness of breath, and more.

I got so sick I could not safely practice acupuncture. It became increasingly harder to take care of my basic needs, including simply going to the grocery store or cooking for myself.

The past year has been a true reckoning as I tried to address this health crisis, went through painful, unexpected, destabilizing transitions in my relationships, lost my home base in Chicago, and tried to come to terms with just how much these conditions have impacted all aspects of my life.

I am also fully holding that the medical industrial complex is a place that has caused a lot of harm in my life and in the life of so many of us, and this choice is coming with a lot of complex, sometimes contradictory feelings.

I am coming to this moment with a lot of grief and a lot of hope that the surgery can create positive ripples of change.

A hysterectomy is a major surgery. It will require extensive recovery time and resources to get through.

The funds will be used for medical costs not covered by insurance, to get help in the weeks I will be unable to take care of myself, for temporary housing near the hospital, for the additional cost of prepared meals and transportation, for travel and lodging to pre-op appointments, and for all the care that such a transition entails.

To put it simply, your donation is what will make this possible.

I am hoping that this surgery will give me a bit of my life back,
I am hoping that it will allow me to be more fully present for movement work,
and I am hoping it will lead to more reciprocal relationships to my communities, my loved ones, and to myself as well.

Lastly, I want to name that what I am experiencing are systemic conditions.

Fibroids are connected to racial capitalism, to years of chronic stress rooted in patriarchal violence, xenophobic hostility, poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and environmental degradation in cities like Chicago and in my hometown in Italy, both of which have been centers of manufacturing for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

Poor and racialized people, survivors of sexual assault, immigrants, and disabled people are all more likely to develop fibroids and other reproductive diseases.

Our bodies reflect our environments.

We heal when we create systems of interconnected care and dignity with our planet, with our communities and within ourselves.

I enter this moment with those truths at my back, committed to systemic change as I attempt to address how unjust systems have directly impacted my very cells.

I promise to keep fighting, for myself and for all of us whose bodies have been deemed disposable. What I know is that I can’t do it alone. Thank you for being here with me in this moment.

In community love!
C//

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p.s I want to express gratitude and name lineage inside of this moment of asking for support.

The lineage and struggle for disability justice, the work of Mia Mingus, Alice Wong, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Aurora Levins Morales and many others around care work and care pods is firmly at my back as I enter this moment.

Healing Justice as a framework for the dismantling of the Medical Industrial Complex and embodied liberation as practiced and conceptualized by Cara Page, Susan Raffo, Adela Nieves Martinez, Tanuja Jagernauth, and many others is present in my tissues as I understand that our struggles are connected and our liberation intertwined.

I am who I am because of the many hands that nourished and held me and showed me that choices around health and wholeness are possible outside of racial capitalism.

may we hold the people and movements at our back with reverence and fierce care!
<3 <3 <3

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Organizer

Chiara Francesca
Organizer
Chicago, IL

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