Hundreds of thousads of people gathered on Saturday to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, and millions more joined from sister marches around the world. Marches were held in Antarctica; Zebulon, Georgia; and even at the Seacrest Village Retirement Center. And in Los Angeles, one of the smallest but most meaningful marches took place at the City of Hope cancer hospital.
19-year-old Allie Oetken told Buzzfeed that she has been battling a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma for two years. She says she has Stage IV cancer that has metastasized to her skull, and she’s currently at City of Hope for pain management while doctors come up with a new plan for how to treat her. She can’t leave the hospital, and that meant she was very disappointed about not being able to join her friends on Saturday at the Women’s March in Los Angeles.
She was in her room thinking about that on Saturday when she heard a woman chanting in the hallway, and when she looked out she saw that another patient was holding her own Women’s March on their hospital floor, with signs and everything. They paused while Oetken made her own sign, and then she joined in with the other patient and several nurses.
They hung signs saying “Women’s March 2017” and “Freedom for All” on their IVs as they marched.
“It was small but very meaningful that I got to feel part of it and protest the new President and the gross rhetoric and behavior that comes with his power and followers when I otherwise would have had to stay sick in bed and essentially be silent,” she told Elle’s Mattie Kahn.
Oetken and her friends are amazing, and the marchers of the world are proud to have walked with them on Saturday, even if they did it in different places. Oetken is a tough girl, and this really shows conviction and a commitment to standing up and getting things done. Someday maybe she will run for office, and this will be an excellent campaign story for her.