#26: For Anastasia
And fuck cancer.
Anastasia Golovashkina was one of the most genuine people I had the pleasure of meeting online. She was a bright light and unapologetic about fighting for what she was passionate about. I knew her for a short time, but our conversations always felt so full of purpose. Anastasia just had that effect on you. She filled you with an energy that made you want to do more, to do the most, to be the best for others.
I was devastated to learn this morning that she had passed away earlier this week.
If you didn’t know Anastasia, you missed out. She was the Social Media Director for Elizabeth Warren when she was running for President in 2020. Before I even knew her, I admired Anastasia’s work. Warren was the only candidate producing accessible social media content during her campaign. After connecting with Anastasia on Twitter, it became abundantly clear that she was one of the driving forces behind those efforts. She was full of enthusiasm and questions about accessibility that I was always happy to discuss. Anastasia put her whole heart into everything she worked on.
In June 2019, just two weeks after joining Team Warren, Anastasia was diagnosed with a glioblastoma roughly the size of a billiard ball. This is the same aggressive form of brain cancer that eventually killed Beau Biden. She shared her journey and what it’s like to have cancer in a moving piece in ELLE Magazine in March 2021 that I encourage everyone to read.
Disability affects us all in different ways, and Anastasia was very open about her own experience and how we need to do more to support cancer research and people diagnosed with the disease. I’m glad she was able to see the reignition of the Cancer Moonshot and the U.S. government’s renewed dedication to curing cancer. I only wish it had come sooner.
Tomorrow, July 20th, is Glioblastoma Awareness Day. If you have the means to do so, please make a donation to the National Brain Tumor Society and support their efforts on social media to shine a light on glioblastoma. It’s the least we can do right now to honor Anastasia’s memory and her unconquerable spirit.
Anastasia, wherever you are, I hope you are happy. I hope you feel at peace with the outstanding life you led and the impactful work you did. I will miss you, my friend.