Angie and I were planning a trip to Mexico where (unbeknownst to her), I was going to propose to her. Due to some minor belly issues, she decided to get checked prior to the trip. The diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic cancer required the trip be cancelled and three days after diagnosis, she had surgery to install a chemo port and ileostomy. I proposed to her in the hospital and we were married a few weeks later. She died 14 months later.
Angie was just 39 years old.
After Angie died, to say I plummeted would be an understatement, but I decided to try to create an event locally to honor her and do some good in the community. We both loved charity and live music so I created a live music street event called Angiepalooza. Eight years later, Angiepalooza has become THE music event to attend in down town area of the state Capitol, Jefferson City, Missouri. Our mission: Support those fighting cancer, Celebrate those that have beaten it, and always honor those we’ve lost.
From Angiepalooza, we recognized that women and little girls universally felt the same sense of theft of their identity by cancer. The void in treatment was obvious. We set out to fill the emotional void and create a warrior, with a bulletproof mentality, who’s never allowed to forget, “You’re still beautiful…You’re just in a fight”.
The package includes Red Slipper Warrior (™) slippers and a Red Slipper Warrior(™) Go-Bag.
Younger girls would receive a more sequined, “blingy” bag. Older girls and adult women would receive a bag les “blingy”, but still bearing our “Ribbon and Crown” logo.
Because it’s important to empower those fighting, but also to create a team concept with their “team” of caregivers/co-patients, and medical personnel. Included with the hospital package are Red Slipper Warrior (™) logo pins for every nurse or aid that provides patient care. The pins would be available to go on ID badges or lapels, reflecting they TOO believe in the warrior mentality and support the mindset of “you’re still beautiful…You’re just in a fight”.
Ideally, the packages are given out at the patient’s first treatment along with information as to what they symbolize. Our team will be available to travel to hospitals for the initial presentations and personally present the project to individuals, as well as provide information to hospital staff.
After the initial visit by RSWP staff, social workers or chemo nursing staff at hospitals would present the RSWP package to new patients. A short video will be provided via youtube to explain further and assure the package is viewed as symbols of empowerment.
So…. WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
In a word…. Empowerment.
Most all other “support” for cancer patients involve some level of “distractions”; things to take their mind of what they are going through. Distractions are important…We use them too, however, here’s the difference. When the lights go out at the end of the day, and that woman or little girl is laying in her bed…Alone…with just her and her thoughts, distractions don’t work. Its at that point, you have to have a bulletproof, warrior mindset.
Being a warrior doesn’t mean you don’t get knocked down…. It just means you always get back up when you are.
The Red Slipper Warrior Project is focused on creating warriors all over the world, that not only are better fighters, recognize they are STILL beautiful and are bonded in creating a support system for each other.
Bells SYSTEMS in hospitals