This past weekend, as hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets to march for equality this, several women near Los Angeles decided they, too, wanted to protest. Of course, some women couldn’t attend the marches due to health conditions. However, a group of women currently in treatment for cancer in LA decided to have an alternative protest right in their hospital.
Allie Oetken, who’s currently battling Stage 4 Ewing’s Sarcoma, which is a rare bone cancer, explained how the hospital march came to be. She wrote on Twitter that their treatment plans require the patients to walk around anyway, so, “we turned it into part of the march.” Of course, nurses at the hospital also accompanied the women as they walked, helping transport IV towers with signs that read, “Women’s March 2017,” and, “March for Our Rights.”
Oetken also spoke to Elle about her situation–and why the movement means so much to her:
“I’ve been a cancer patient for 2+ years now and have had clear scans until just about last weekend [when] they found a tumor on my skull. So I’ve been in the hospital mostly for pain management while we figure out what the plan is moving forward. Well that morning I knew there was going to be multiple women’s marches around the country [and] world and was pretty bummed I wasn’t going to be apart of it, especially since my friends were going to the LA one.
Well in the middle of my wallowing, I heard another lady squeaking down the hallway chanting something so I went out and joined her and we had put together signs that say “Freedom for All” and things like that and marched with our IV poles as well as some of the nurses. It was small but very meaningful that I got to feel part of it and protest the new President and the gross rhetoric and behavior that comes with his power and followers when I otherwise would have had to stay sick in bed and essentially be silent.”
I’m glad these women were able to participate in the march in their own way, especially as it can be impossible or unsafe for many to attend a demonstration, based on safety and health concerns. Protesting–and standing up for your beliefs–doesn’t just happen in traditional demonstrations, but can be expressed in a variety of other ways. This protest in particular shows us the power that coming together, even in somewhat unusual circumstances, can do.