St. Paul, Minn. (February 13, 2012) – Playwright and performance artist, Katie Ka Vang’s recent diagnosis of Stage 4 Anaplastic Large T-Cell Lymphoma has the Twin Cities community coming together. Six fundraisers in Vang’s name are actively being planned spanning from January to April with many more in the works.
Vang, 32, Director of Navigate: Artist Services at the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT) was diagnosed on January 3 at the University of Minnesota Fairview Medical Center. Immediately, friends and family worked collectively to create fundraisers and benefits in order to offset Vang’s medical and living expenses. Vang’s first visit to the hospital was in December 2011 when she did not have medical insurance. Due to the cancer, Vang is now on medical leave for the next two to four months. Currently, her medical bill is over $70,000.
“I am overwhelmed,” said Vang. “I feel like I should be running for office. I didn’t know so many people supported me. I am so thankful for everyone.”
Vang has been serving the Hmong arts community for nearly 10 years as a volunteer, Board Member and staff of CHAT. She is also an active part of the Minnesota theater community and has been generous with sharing her stories on the stage. The out pour of support from around the world is testament to Vang’s own contributions.
Since Vang’s diagnosis, she has undergone two rounds of chemotherapy and may have up to eight rounds through June.
The first fundraiser to launch, a Couples Portrait Contest, was held throughout the month of January by Yeng Lor Photography via Facebook. Interested participants donated $40 for a five minute photo shoot and contest. More information can be found at www.yenglorphoto.com. Yeng Lor Photography recently handed Vang with an $1800 check.
Other fundraisers coming up:
• We Heart Katie Concert
February 17, 2012
Live music and art $10
1179 7th Street East, St. Paul, MN 55106
• 6-Packing Cancer to the Sidelines: Katie Ka Vang Benefit
Co-ed Volleyball Tournament $10/player or $2/non-player
March 3, 2012
Hazel Park Recreation Center
945 Hazel Street North, St. Paul, MN 55119
For more information on fundraisers and how to get involved contact Kathy Mouacheupao at [email protected]. Vang’s journey is documented on her CaringBridge website at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/katiekavang/mystory.