I moved to Las Vegas in 1988 and performed in Crazy Girls at the Riviera until 1996. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from UNLV in 2005 and enjoyed a public relations career spanning 7 years for R&R Partners, MGM Resorts International and Charlie Palmer Group. Devastated by my mothers passing from brain cancer in 2010, I moved from Las Vegas to the Pacific Northwest to reconnect with my remaining family in June of 2012. Within days, the diagnosis from my most recent mammogram reached me in Portland. A tumor mass on my right breast measuring approximately 5 centimeters had to be removed by masectomy. The cancer had touched lymph cells, so chemotherapy for 6 months followed. After chemotherapy, there was radiation for 6 weeks (finished April 4!). Today, April 11, I had my port removed and look forward to reconstruction in the next year!
Throughout this process I worked with Autism Community Trust in Las Vegas (www.autismcommunitytrust.com), remotely recruiting 100 artists through social media, to create guitar art for auction to benefit families effected by autism. Their willingness to donate their time and incredible talent kept me inspired. I also landed a retail job to support myself during treatment.
The most amazing part of this whole process was the incredible amount of love and support my Showgirl Family and Friends in Las Vegas showed me. They wrote cards, Emails, texts and checks to make sure I could pay my rent and car payment when I was too ill to work. They sent flowers and made phone calls and showed me so much love. They even got together and had a fundraising party for me in November!
Now that my treatment is finished, I am saving to move back to Las Vegas. Seattle is my home, but Las Vegas is my life – thanks to the friends that kept my spirits high and made me feel like I wasn’t fighting this alone.
A special thanks to Matt and Angela Stabile & Family, X Burlesque, Terry Ritter, PR Plus and the rest of my Vegas Family: Karen Raider, Stacey Peterutti, Michelle Sandoval (Crazy Girls), Nicole Navarro, Krisanne, Oksana & Marina (Splash), Aki Levin and Lora Chamberlin (Enter the Night), Allison Kravenko and Shaun Wayne (Jubilee!), Georgie Bernasek (Penn & Teller), Rondi Rowland, Mimi Tilton, Andy Ebon, Robin Leach, Kerry Simon, Charlie Palmer Group, Artists for Autism, Autism Community Trust,Vicki Abbott (Ladies of Burlesque) and many more. I wouldn’t have gotten through this without you!