Fairelands: Story of Hope

Fairelands Junction, picture by Alisaundra Andel

There is a story that we have been waiting to tell for a year. It is a story we found out last year as Pookie Wolfsong (helixer) contacted one of the Faire Executives, Zander Greene, and told him of her work in a cancer care center and how she had brought her clients to the Faire. We were stunned, touched and humbled by her words, and hoped to have a chance to learn more. This year we did exactly that.

You work in a cancer treatment center in RL, and you have been showing patients Fantasy Faire on your laptop. How did this idea come to you and how have they responded to it?

I work in a long term care center and some of my clients are here during cancer treatment. Three years ago I took my laptop to work so I could visit the Faire during my lunch break. I sat in the computer area that we have and got online. One of our clients, a young woman, just came back from one of her treatments and was looking over my shoulder. She asked about what was I doing and I showed her. She was just taken in by the Faire. I spent the rest of my lunch getting her set up on SL. The change in her outlook was amazing. She spent her time visiting the Faire. She told me that she had felt alone and only the medical staff were the people who cared. She discovered that there are lots of people who do care. The Fairelands were her escape from her RL to where she could have and be herself. Not a patient but just her.

I got the idea from wanting to show them the Faire and SL… It was a way to boost some morale. I had good responses to it, I saw how people reacted to having computer time to escape from the day to day. I thought why not show them the Faire. The sims and the activities.

Have any of your clients made Second Life accounts? Do they visit our world otherwise, or do they just log in for Fantasy Faire? Have they become a part of Relay For Life community in Second Life?

Some have made accounts. I do not ask or pry into their doings in SL…

What all do you do in Fantasy Faire with your clients? What are their favourite parts of it? Do they have favourite memories from the Faire?

I first show them the Faire first of a google search. Then we go to the Fairelands. I do tag along if they want me to, but as soon as they see the Faire they are off to explore. Some dance, others shop, some do the quests and hunts. Each person has their own favorite part of the Faire.

The FaireChylde and dancing are always a hit. The radio is played by some until they turn it off. I share my laptop with my clients if they can’t get to their own computer. Or like the case a client was having a treatment I set up my lap top and she was dancing on the FaireChylde. She was no longer a patient in a care center but a dancer in a magical place away from the RL… You do not know how much this means to someone who is battling this disease. Feeling alone sick and wondering if anyone in the world cares. When they see and go to this place of wonders. Where people from around the globe are supporting research and reaching out to them. The difference in their lives this makes is incredible. All of you are angels.

For all the people of the Fairelands The Faire is just magical. You coming together to help fight cancer is amazing. You are more amazing for just being here. The fact that the Fairelands exist gives hope to people who have falling into doubt. Please if you know of anyone who is fighting cancer or who know people who are. Bring them to the Faire. You can give something that is just as important to the patient, their friends, family, and caregivers. HOPE.

The next time you wander the Faire or dance on the FaireChylde. You can be giving someone the strength needed to continue fighting cancer.

Thank you for sharing your story, Pookie. Please tell your patients that they are the reason we do all this. Please tell them that the Fairelands will always welcome them and offer what hope and solace they can.

The FairChylde, docked at OtherWorlds - Fantasy Faire 2016 by Caitlin Tobias

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