01 June 2013

Amy Marcellus

Amy Marcellus is a friend of mine, someone with whom I worked shoulder-to-shoulder five days a week for three years, which happened to be the most important three years of my life, during which I became a father. She was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer last January, and has undergone surgery, a double mastectomy, and chemotherapy. A few months younger than me at 36, she belongs entirely to my generation, which strikes much too close to home. I wrote a little bit about her on this blog last year, when she witnessed her boyfriend Brandon senselessly killed in front of her by a gun-toting idiot who started a confrontation and then used a gun to end it (and got away with it thanks to Florida's Stand Your Ground law.) 

I have learned much more about Amy now at a distance than I did in all those years of close proximity. In the space of 10 months her life was shattered to a point almost unimaginable to others, from seeing the man she loved being killed in front of her, for no reason, no purpose (and with no justice) to being diagnosed herself with a life-threatening illness, yet I have not heard or read one single word of self-pity from her. Seriously, not one word. I find this astonishing. I was always annoyed by that whole "you are so brave" thing being said to people facing illnesses, as if they truly had a choice. But now I see it. There's a great bit of dialogue in Game of Thrones where 7 year-old Bran asks his father "can someone be afraid and still be brave?" and Lord Stark answers "that's the only time someone can be brave". I myself don't know that it is the only time, but it sure as hell is a good time for it.

Her friends are having a big benefit for her today in upstate New York, with the purpose of raising money for her. If you can't go, please donate whatever you can here. All you need is your debit card.
If you can't give much, just ten dollars would be appreciated. Can't do ten? Five dollars would be fantastic still. It's super simple to donate, and you can leave your name or do it anonymously. And if you could help us share this (you could repost this or you could just link to the GoFund page with a brief explanation, on Facebook or Twitter), that would be enormously appreciated too. Even if you're reading this after June 1st, you can still give.

Thank you so much for reading this.

Here's the website again:  http://www.gofundme.com/2w3ua8