I hope it's all right to post this story, if not, my apologies.
I'm a member of a group of renfaire fans known as the International Wenches' Guild--a collection of sassy, strong women--and recently one of my fellow wenches posted the following notice on our forum. I post it here because I think it's a worthy cause--and one that's free, taking only a moment of anyone's time to participate.
Victoria's Secret is hosting a contest called "Love Your Body." The young woman spoken of below is right now in second place, so I give you her story and the link, please click if you so choose, to give her another vote.
The story is below, but in short, the 19 year old woman in question is the daughter of a Bristol Renaissance Faire patron; who suffers from a cancer that will cause her to soon have a leg and part of her pelvis amputated.
Many of you know her, many do not. Her name is Casey, and she's got osteosarcoma, which is an aggressive bone cancer that is eating away at her as we speak. In about a month she'll be losing her right leg and a portion of her pelvis sufficient to prevent use of a prosthetic.
She's also 19 years old.
She has entered a "Love Your Body" contest hosted by Victoria's Secret. The shortened text can be found at the link below, but here is the full text of what she wanted to say:
"I don't love the parts of my body that are affected by cancer. I don't love my tumor, or any of the nerves it's currently pressing against. I don't love the bones it has weakened to the point that I will have to use crutches even after the fracture heals in order to avoid fracturing more bones. On the other hand, I love my legs because they transport me, because I like their shape, because they've been pretty reliable for the last 19 years. I love my legs because I can move my little toes out separate from the rest of my toes. I love them because they make it possible for me to get piggy back rides. I love them because they help me dance. I love them because they come in a pair, so even when my right leg is amputated, I can still enjoy these things with my left leg. I love my arms because they support my weight on my crutches and make it possible for me to still get around without having to ask for too much help. I love my fingers for being able to grasp some things while still holding on to the crutches, without always spilling or dropping those things. I love my body's tolerance for pain, and the fact that it can take so much without making me cry in front of people. I love it for the fact that I didn't cry that one time when they were trying to hook me up to the IV and kept digging around the more tender veins in my arms. I love my body even though it doesn't look like the Victoria's Secret "A Body For Every Body" ad to the right of my screen as I type this. I love it even though it's bald and can't sexily toy with its hair, even though it has no eyebrows to arch at men, even though its bra size is only a 36A, even though its weight fluctuates but will probably never have that flat of a stomach, even though it will soon only have one leg and some people will be disgusted by it.
I love it even though it's falling apart. I love it because it's mine."
The prize for this contest is a three-day all-expenses-paid trip to NYC, including a full spa day and other pampering prizes that she could really use after all of this awful trauma.
That is the link. All you have to do is click it, and click the vote button. (If you don't have the most recent java flash player you will be asked to get that, but it only takes a minute.)
You can vote once a day, and it only takes a second. Right now she's being beaten by a guy with a goatee who writes haikus. I think we can show the world something better than that.
So please. Go vote. Pass along the link to your friends. Because she needs this right now. Not only the support, but also something to look forward to when she recovers from the amputation surgery.
Thank you all!