For Rijah, Conquering Cancer with Chemo, Love, & Strength

For: Rijah Newell
Organizer: Gunner Scott
For Rijah, Conquering Cancer with Chemo, Love, & Strength  (Rijah Newell)
of $5,000 goal
53% Complete
Raised by 66 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Rijah is a survivor, but even a strong and powerful woman cannot do it all alone.

Last summer Rijah was diagnosed with breast cancer, this itself is very scary. The physical, emotional and financial toll has been deep. Each day she is rising up out of it, but it is going to be a long and difficult road ahead still.

The fear of breast cancer and what it does to one's health is hard enough, but within a matter of weeks, she lost all of her financial means. Turns out some of those businesses who employ healing artists have no empathy for life threatening illnesses affecting their employees. Before even undergoing treatment, she was told her services were no longer needed. 

Rijah is a self-employed creative professional, providing movement classes to toddlers, empowerment belly dance lessons to women, and healing arts to her community. She is a performance artist, dancer, writer, teacher, and artistic director of Trash Into Art puppet troupe and Circus Ole` and Feast of Fools. She focuses on performance for social change much of her work has focused on raising awareness about environmental and social issues through theater and puppetry including the creation of an animal free circus that raises awareness about the mistreatment of circus animals.

Most importantly, in addition to being the glue that often holds her friends and family together, she is a single mom to three amazing kids. 

Rijah is my glue, my glitter, my chosen family, she sees the best in me, even when I am grumpy, and all the possibilities that I can become. I know she is this to many. I met her while attending Goddard College, not long after we were plotting and planning comedic dance routines, social justice puppet shows, and other mischief. 

We need her and without our help, the glue, the glitter, and the possibilities will be hard for her to hold together.

This is why I am asking you to help Rijah. Right now she needs financial support to cover her modest living expenses, so she can stay in her apartment with her daughter and her dog, and her medical expenses, so she can get the best treatment available. 

Please donate today, every little bit helps and it will add up. We think she will need another month or two to recover from her treatments and then go back to what she loves, teaching dance and providing healing body work. But, right now she needs to focus on her own healing and not worry if the lights are going to be shut off.

Thank you for supporting Rijah, my friend & my chosen family. 

Please feel free to share this with your networks, love is abundant and kindness spreads.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 29, 2013

Posted on August 29, 2013

Dear friends, old and new,

Thank you all so much for your kindness.

It has been such an inspiration to read each persons notes when donations are made. I love hearing from people I haven't heard from in a while and people who don't even know me. It has really restored my faith in humanity. My sense of community and support is stronger than its ever has been and I am so grateful. As for my health I am getting stronger and regaining use of my right arm. I have returned to one of my jobs that I was let go of to take care of myself. These employers really had the best intentions and truly just wanted me to focus on my health, but to me in the moment I felt I needed to work as much as possible before I had surgery. I am doing light shifts and have missed the height of the season and am currently looking for more employment. 

I am taking the month of August to enjoy what is left of my summer, spending time with my family and resting up for the next wave. At this point I have a recommendation of radiation and chemotherapy as follow up to surgery. As a holistic health practitioner I am looking into alternative methods of treatment. I have changed my diet completely and have been juicing daily and adding wild mushrooms to almost every meal. I am still researching my options and trying to find a good nutritionist and alternative cancer centers. It is an expensive plan and I truly thank you all for helping in every way you can. You all have made it possible for me to take a breath. relax, and focus on what is important. Me getting better! Thank you again so much!

Love and gratitude,

Posted on August 16, 2013

Posted on August 16, 2013

Tonight, if you happen to be in South Paris, ME there is a fundraiser for Rijah... 

Boob-a-Palooza, a benefit for Rijah, at the Four Seasons Function Center in South Paris, Maine on August 16th From 6–10pm. There will be performances by Eddy Dyer & third Stone Odyssey and Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde, 50/50 Raffle Trapeze Ball Drop, Silent Art Auction, Ticket Auction, Surprise Guests, Special Performances, and Kids Activities. 
All Ages. Tickets $10 at the door - Free for Kids 12 and Under.

If you can't make it you can hold your own home "Boob-a-Palooza" by donating through this fundraising page as you shake and shimmy your chest region to the sounds of Lady Gaga or Madonna...

Posted on August 14, 2013

Posted on August 14, 2013


Thank you all so much, Rijah has been feeling less stressed out and more focused on her recovery. 

I am still hoping to reach our target goal, so she will have some breating room for the next two months as she deals with further treatment. Please continue to share this fundraiser with your networks, it means so much to me.

Thank you

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