Violet's Fight Against Cancer
I met Violet nearly a decade ago when we were working for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, but we immediately formed a bond that has been a constant source of strength and friendship for me ever since. That’s why this news was so devastating for all of us who know Violet well.
Despite even the most sobering of diagnoses, Violet continues to fight this cancer with grit, relentlessness, and a determination that has been nothing short of inspiring. You can support her by making a donation.
Please contribute right now and encourage your friends and family to do the same by sharing this GoFundMe page widely and frequently. Your generosity will mean everything to Violet, her family, and certainly to me.
Thank you so very much for your support.
Two years ago, we launched this GoFundMe page after learning that Violet was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. All of you stepped up and helped raise over $18,000 in just a matter of days, providing Violet with some much needed love and support during a very critical and scary time for her and her family.
In those two years, many of us have gotten to see Violet thrive. She has fought her cancer relentlessly, become an outspoken advocate for cancer awareness and prevention, and raised money for some great organizations.
But it hasn't all been rosy. Violet has struggled too. There have been hard days. Lots of them. There have been setbacks in her treatment. And due to the unprecedented government shutdown, there have been legitimate concerns recently about Violet's ability to access the care she deserves, given that she is a federal employee who (like most of us) is insured through her employer.
The Washington Post produced a great video segment about Violet's story entitled, "When you have stage IV cancer, the shutdown is about more than a missed paycheck." I encourage you to check it out. https://youtu.be/XGeXSaw38pw
Whatever your politics, a prolonged government shutdown can only make things more difficult for Violet. As individuals, we may be powerless to address the dysfunction in Washington, but we do have the power to make a big difference in Violet's life by contributing to this GoFundMe page today. Whether you can give $5 or $500, every bit is appreciated.
I hope you'll watch the Washington Post video about Violet and share her story with others. And if you are able, please make a donation today. Thank you for your enduring support.
Joey (a friend of Violet's)
For once, I'm not asking you for money (although donations are still accepted and appreciated)!
I actually had the chance to visit with Violet and her mom (Becky) in Washington D.C. this past weekend and wanted to share a few updates:
First, Violet is doing remarkably well. She's going to work every day, eating smart, staying active, and remaining positive. In fact, she went for a long-run yesterday afternoon and is now registered for a 5K race. Cancer...who knew?
Emotionally, she's doing great, too. Certainly, this experience has reshaped Violet in profound ways. But she continues to maintain a perspective and emotional maturity that is astonishing. I asked how she stays sane with this thing constantly looming, and without hesitation, she expressed that the outpouring of love, support, and good vibes from all of you has made all the difference. So let's keep it up!
There are some important next steps ahead. After completing several weeks of chemotherapy, Violet finally gets to enjoy a small break from treatment. She'll start a round of radiation therapy soon, but it shouldn't be nearly as intense as the recent chemo, which is a relief. That will be followed by surgery (exact date TBD), which will likely be followed by more chemo. Violet has already met with the surgeon at GWU Hospital in D.C., who is among the best in the world. More importantly, Becky likes him, too. Once the exact treatment timeline is established, I will send another email update.
On a personal note, I've learned a lot through this experience, too. For those of you who are still processing what all of this means, or just want to know what else you can do, here are some thoughts:
***It's okay to ask blunt questions***
Violet has approached this cancer with eyes wide open. Talking openly about it has actually been really helpful for her, so if you're curious about how she's doing at any given moment, don't be afraid to ask.
***It's also okay if you don't know how to feel, act, or respond...Violet completely understands***
Cancer is a difficult and weighty thing to process--something Violet knows better than anyone. She commented on Saturday, "I don't hate anyone. I've stopped holding grudges. What's the point?" So, if you've been thinking about reaching out to her, but just don't know what to say or where to start, it's okay. Do what makes sense for you. No one (certainly not Violet) is passing judgment on how you choose to cope, or when you might choose to reach out.
***Despite her name, Violet is no delicate flower!***
Perhaps like you, my immediate response upon learning about Violet's diagnosis was grief, pity, and an intense feeling of injustice. All of these reactions are normal, but not helpful. Violet has a long journey ahead, so this is no time to treat her as if she's fragile or weak. She's tough, resilient, and stubborn as hell...which is exactly the mindset she needs for the treatment ahead.
***Violet is not the only person going through this***
So is Becky. So are her brothers. Check in with them, too.
***Humor is the best medicine***
Let's not forget that Violet actually has a dark, twisted, sick sense of humor, which hasn't changed at all! She's still inappropriate as ever, so don't hesitate to indulge. If you have a smartphone, I find that the Snapchat app ( https://www.snapchat.com/) is a great way to keep in touch with Violet while keeping things light. Her Snapchat handle is violentkuchar (with an "n"). I told you she's still twisted.
***Live the hell out of every day***
That's what Violet's doing. So should we.
Thanks for reading this far, and thank you for your continued support for Violet. I'll send more updates soon.
Until next time,
We did it! Thanks to your donations, emails, posts, and shares, we reached our fundraising goal last night (on Violet’s birthday, no less!). On behalf of Violet and her family, thank you so much for your generosity.
The outpouring of kindness and support from all of you has been nothing short of astonishing. You have helped to re-energize Violet in her fight against cancer. Thank you for that as well.
Because Violet’s treatment is ongoing, and given the unpredictable nature of cancer, we will leave this GoFundMe page active. We will also use this as a platform for communicating important updates about Violet’s progress.
Until then, thank you again for your enduring love and continued support. Here's to our girl, Violet!
With love, respect, and friendship,
Today is Violet's 32nd birthday and we are only $655 away from reaching our fundraising goal. Let's close the gap before midnight and give Violet a birthday gift to remember!
You can help by sharing this GoFundMe page via social media and by sending a personal note to your friends and family.
People are busy and Facebook feeds refresh continuously, so even if you've already posted this page or made an appeal to your networks, a friendly reminder could go a long way.
Thank you SO MUCH for your continued support of Violet and her family. Let's do this!
With love, respect, and friendship,