One of my best friends, Trystan, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Many of you know Trystan — she’s a longtime member of the GBACG, teaches at Costume College, plays in the SCA, performs at Renaissance Faires. Hopefully you’ve had a drink with her and had her make you crack up — it’s her specialty. What you might not know about Trystan is that she’s ALWAYS there to help. If you’re putting on a costume event and you need help setting it up or tearing it down (late at night when everyone’s exhausted), Trystan is there. If you have a crazy costume idea and aren’t sure if you should go for it, Trystan will say “do eeet!” (hey, she’s the creator of the sushi Victorian dress! she’s down with the crazy!). She was a longtime board member, including president, of the GBACG, and personally created their first website way back in the dark days of the internet — you know, that site that is such a great resource, particularly the pattern review? She was a major organizer of Costume Con 28 (San Jose). A few years back she joined the SCA, and despite statements that she had too much on her plate, she’s now autocratted (ie organized) events, put on Collegium (their workshop series), become Arts & Sciences minister (the person who puts on competitions, classes, and more for medieval crafts, skills, & technologies), and is currently a Queen’s Artisan (where she is involved in a project to make “largesse,” or medieval reproduction items like costumes, bags, and more that are given as competition prizes and more — meaning she is spending her own time and money to make things for people she may not even know). I have been with her at SCA events where we couldn’t figure out immediately where to pay our “site fee” (aka the entrance fee or event ticket). While some of us grumbled, she personally set out to find where to pay since, as she put it, “I’m a supporter” — and truer words were never spoken.
Well, now she needs our support. Trystan is a contract employee, and her husband is a freelancer, which means they have to buy private health insurance… which is sadly really expensive, not just on a monthly basis but also for co-pays for doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, and everything else. So not only is she dealing with “OMG I HAVE BREAST CANCER,” she’s also dealing with “OMG HOW AM I GOING TO AFFORD ALL THIS?” Oh, and since she’s a contractor, all the time she needs for surgeries and treatment will be unpaid. Good times.
If you’ve met Trystan or in some way been supported by her, and you have a few dollars or a small amount of time to spare, please consider supporting her: by donating a few dollars (seriously, $5 would be fabulous), looking over her list of other ways to support, or buying something from her costume garage sale.
Luckily, Trystan is a fighter, so I know she’s going to come through this. But it’s going to be hard, and right now someone who has supported many of us needs our support. I hope you can help — even if it’s just to let her know you’re thinking of her.