n June, 2019 we received a call about Xiu, a 43 year old woman who was suffering in late stage breast cancer. As we met with Xiu and heard her story, we were overwhelmed by the incredible trauma, addiction, and abuse she'd experienced after nearly 20 years in the sex industry.
When she was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer in 2018, many of her friends and family members abandoned her and those who did remain were often incredibly cruel and verbally abusive.
As her tumor grew, so did her shame.
For four weeks, Red Oak's team stepped in to care for Xiu to give her the dignity and respect she deserved. Our staff visited her frequently-- spending hours carefully cleaning her wound, changing her sheets, giving her her first bath in months, feeding her as she grew weak, and advocating on her behalf to doctors and her family.
Though the days were long and hard for everybody, we were able to see beautiful moments of Xiu professing peace and her dying wish come true as her family reconciled.
On July 4, 2019, Xiu passed away. She was surrounded by her family and is now no longer suffering.
It was our deep honor to sit with Xiu in her final weeks and show her that she was immensely worthy of dignity and respect.