I was stunned when I found out earlier this week that Samantha Martin, the creator and Chief Executive Human behind the Amazing Acro-Cats, was diagnosed with stage 3 colo-rectal cancer.
Samantha has worked for many years to promote life-saving animal training techniques. Traveling across the country with her Amazing Acro-Cats, she encourages and supports feline fostering, rescue and adoption. Since 2009, Samantha has rescued and found homes for 216 cats, and proceeds from her shows have helped local agencies in countless towns visited by the troupe.
I first met Samantha Martin three years ago, when she came through the Washington DC area with her Amazing Acro-Cats. I had been skeptical then. I’m well aware of the controversy that surrounds circus performances, but after talking to Samantha for almost an hour and watching her with her cats, I was able to put any misgivings aside. From the moment I met Samantha, I knew that I had encountered a kindred spirit. Samantha is passionate about cats and their well-being.
Samantha is facing several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, followed by two surgical procedures to remove the tumor. And as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, Samantha broke her right foot while on tour in February. The foot can’t be repaired until after she goes through her cancer treatment.
Samantha has health insurance, which will cover the cost of treatment, but since she will be unable to work for at least six months, she won’t be able to tour. No tour, no income. Samantha is solely responsible for the health and well being of her cats, and of course she will also need to be able to cover her own living expenses.
If you can help, please consider contributing to the GoFundMe campaign she started to help cover the cattery, vet bills, her living expenses, and other necessary costs. Samantha has given so much to cats over the years, it’s time to give a little something back to this amazing champion of cats. And if you can’t donate yourself right now, please consider sharing this post or the link to Samantha’s campaign with your cat loving friends.
Lately, far too many good friends have been affected by cancer. Their lives changed from that one moment of diagnosis on in ways that those of us who are blessed with good health can’t even imagine. I am in awe of how my friends are meeting this challenge, and I look forward to the day when they’re done with treatment and can go back to their regular lives.