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Fighter of the month

FIGHTER OF THE MONTH

We in Disturbed would like to honor those Disturbed Ones who have shown strength, character, and fight. Each month, we’ll choose a Fighter Of The Month to recognize. That person will get a Fighter Of The Month coin. The FOTM will be chosen from those nominated by their peers. This is just a small way for us to show our appreciation to some of the amazing people out there.

Featured Fighter of the month

NAME:
Wendy
Wendy was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma of her spine, hip and lymph node in May 2020 after struggling with excruciating back pain for months. Wendy’s first thought after her diagnosis was of her children, as she grew up without a parental figure from the age of 15 and didn’t want that life for them. Wendy decided to fight. She undergoes injectable and oral chemotherapy treatments in an attempt to manage the incurable cancer. Wendy is a devoted pet parent, a cherished friend, loving sister, a compassionate veterinary technician and a fierce advocate for those who do not have a voice. Wendy’s hair has grown back, and she is walking and doing things that she used to enjoy before she was diagnosed.

Previous Fighters of the month

  • Katie
    Katie was nominated by her mother for coming forward as a victim of sexual assault, which saved her and in return, saved other children as well. It took two and a half years for justice to be served. Katie had PTSD from the experience, and drawing and music were her primary outlets. In the same timeframe, Katie also lost her grandmother, who she was very close to. Currently, Katie’s good days outweigh the bad, and she hopes that her story will give other kids the strength and courage to stand up against their predator.  We’re honored to have learned that “Hold On To Memories” got Katie through this rough patch in her life.
  • Hannah
    Hannah has suffered from depression, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder and has almost given up a few times by attempting to take her own life. AJ nominated Hannah because he's proud of her for her most recent recovery. Hannah has been in and out of multiple institutions, however she is currently doing well and is working hard to stay healthy in her new group home.
  • Keith
    Keith joined the Army National Guard at 17 and eventually shifted his focus to become a Navy Corpsman. He was medically discharged from the Navy in the early ‘90s. He returned home with a version of early-onset Parkinson’s (triggered by chemical exposure) and has been managing that as well as a unique version of type 1 diabetes and other issues for over a decade. Every day is painful, but Keith doesn’t let it bring him down; he is known by everyone as the funniest person in town, and is always there to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. Ten Thousand Fists in the air for Keith’s service & great attitude through it all!
  • Lucus
    When Lucus was 3 months old, he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and according to his doctors, one of the highest readings they had ever seen. Since then, he has been in and out of the hospital for routine treatments, has at-home treatments 2-4x a day, and is prescribed 30-40 pills a day. Lucus is now 9 year old and continues his fight; every day is different and new health complications arise, however, he doesn’t let it bring him down. Follow Lucus’ updates here
  • Mary
    Mary was nominated by one of her daughters after losing her youngest daughter Sarah due to health complications. Mary is praised for her strength and being a tireless caregiver to her three other children, while working through her own grief & seeking help when she needed it. Mary keeps her daughter Sarah’s memory alive, and “Hold On to Memories” is a special song to the whole family.
  • Dawn
    Dawn’s husband suffers from a rare muscular degeneration disease and developed a rare form of cancer last year. His treatments have caused burns in his mouth, which led to weakness and weight loss. Dawn missed a lot of work to be with him, and despite the tough circumstances, she has never lost her positivity and kindness.
  • Artur
    A serious car accident put Artur in a coma, and upon waking up, he had to learn to live with new limitations. Artur lost his left leg and suffered serious injuries to his right leg, spine and wrist. Artur and his wife spent six weeks in the hospital after the accident, and despite being wheelchair-bound at the moment, he is doing exercises constantly to increase his chances of walking again, and he is doing what he can to stay positive.
  • Leesa
    Leesa is the owner of a small-town cat rescue shelter which she started herself. The shelter provides care to over 100 street cats, feral kittens and abandoned felines. Leesa puts so much care and attention into the lives of the cats she takes care of, all while living with a life-long chronic illness, which required her to have a triple bypass surgery at the age of 51 this past summer. Despite these complications, Leesa continues to be someone who will always jump to help others, but will never ask for help herself.
  • ZoeJane
    ZoeJane, 10, has been battling DIPG since December 2017, which is a rare form of inoperable brain tumor with a typical prognosis of 6-9 months to live. She has been fighting for the past 3 years, traveling every few weeks with her mom and dad from Salt Lake City to New York for treatments and clinical trials. Despite her diagnosis, ZoeJane has continued to go to school, dance and act, and continue to be her spunky, sassy self. Her family wants to raise awareness of this disease in order to help ZoeJane, and the other children and their families who have struggled with it.
  • Jenn
    Jenn was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 3 (SMA3) at three years old, grew up in an abusive and neglectful home, experienced sexual abuse by a family friend, and was emancipated by 13. She experienced drug addiction and was able to overcome it on her own. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree to be a drug counselor and social worker, and is now working full time helping others.
  • Reece
    Reece is a 22-year-old rapper and former sports coach who uses his music to communicate life as a person with dwarfism. Reece and his friend once posted a collab/brainstorm about lyrics on Instagram, and he received nasty comments and was teased. However, it led to something positive – Reece’s first YouTube video racked up 250K views. He has always been proud of who he is, leaves the unkind behind, and moves forward with his dreams and networking with the younger generation.
  • April
    April is a veteran who served 15 months in Afghanistan and now suffers from PTSD and severe migraines. April and her husband faced challenges when starting a family, and were able to adopt twin boys, but within a few months it became apparent that both boys had special needs. April was finally able to have two girls of her own, and is now raising four children, while advocating for soldiers' rights to medical marijuana use.
  • Omar Emiliano Palmer
    Omar Emiliano Palmer was a Federal Officer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in New York City for 17 years. He lost his life to COVID-19 on May 4, after being exposed on the job. He was a Disturbed One from the beginning. He was a humanist, an activist for all, and a man whose fundamental principles were rooted in human decency. While Omar was in ICU fighting COVID-19 for over 30 days, he continued to encourage others experiencing depression, fear, and despair. He pushed us to fight the virus, and quietly prepared for his transition. Omar E. Palmer risked and lost his life to serve and protect.
  • Jof
    Jof has battled anxiety all of his life and turned to drugs and alcohol to silence his mind. His daughter was born with Canavan disease and the special care she needed for her disability gave Jof #AReasonToFight. Jof gave up drugs and alcohol and he has been clean for nine years. While he still battles with anxiety, he has been a tower of strength and support for his daughter and his wife.
  • Abra
    Abra was in a mentally abusive relationship for years and was diagnosed with PTSD from the abuse she endured. She also deals with depression, anxiety and Bipolar II Disorder. Eleven years ago, she took on and raised two children from a friend, and will officially adopt them this year. Despite everything, Abra loves to help people and make people laugh. She was at a low point and had been thinking a lot about death, but after seeing Disturbed perform in St. Louis, she realized she wasn’t alone in this fight. Abra keeps a smile on her face no matter what is thrown her way, and always extends a helping hand.”
  • Teja
    Teja was paralyzed by cancer on her spine at the age of one and underwent multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. Doctors said she would either be paralyzed for life or die, but she beat cancer and learned how to walk again in physical therapy. Teja has dealt with depression and anxiety as a teenager, but “Disturbed gives her a reason to fight.”
  • Quaden Bayles
    Nine-year-old Quaden has faced discrimination not only due to having dwarfism, but because of his aboriginal ancestry. Growing up, Quaden had to undergo multiple surgeries in order to improve breathing, sleeping, and to prevent neurological damage. The bullying in school and online has been overwhelming for him and his family. Learn more about Quaden’s story HERE, and contribute to his GoFundMe HERE to support anti-bullying and anti-abuse charities.
  • Marc-Thomas
    Five-year-old Marc-Thomas underwent chemotherapy and an 8-hour brain surgery following the discovery of a tumor in the center lower portion of his brain. He will still have to go through more chemo and radiation to ensure he is cancer-free. Through all the adversity, he has continued to smile and stay positive!
  • Nico
    Nico was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 4. He spends hours each week in therapies and working with specialists, both in and out of school. No matter how discouraging or frustrating things get, he finds a way to fight. Nico started working with the American Special Hockey Association and his perseverance and determination shines through more than ever on the ice.
  • Francesca Witt
    In 2016, Francesca was involved in a horrible accident, which involved a car crashing into the motorcycle that her boyfriend was driving while she was sitting on the back. Francesca survived and was in a coma for 10 days, however, her boyfriend passed away. Francesca had most of her left leg amputated. She now uses a prosthetic and can do most of the things she could before, but still puts up a daily fight to return to normalcy.
  • Pandora Davidsen

    NAME: Pandora
    NOMINATED BY: Laura
    Pandora volunteers at a hotline to help others fight their demons, all while handling her own. Let’s thank Pandora for her volunteer work! Because of selfless people like her, #YouAreNotAlone when asking for help!

  • Kathy

    Kathy went through domestic violence and abuse. She reached out to friends and other Disturbed fans about her story, and inspired others going through the same situation to persevere and to have hope.

  • Jennifer

    Jennifer has struggled from depression her whole life, stemming from an abusive upbringing. The same day Jennifer found out she was pregnant, she was diagnosed with cancer, and chose to not get any treatment until her daughter was born. Jennifer has been cancer-free since 2004. For the past year, Jennifer has been a caretaker to her aunt who has suffered two strokes and, and as of early August will be helping her father’s long-term recovery from quintuple bypass heart surgery. Between taking care of her aunt and her father, Jennifer couldn’t be with her daughter on her 16th Birthday.

  • Calvin

    On Calvin’s second round of deployment as a Navy corpsman, he was treating a civilian around his troops when a building collapsed on top of him. He was left partially paralyzed and sent home, only to find that his wife left him. Calvin turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with his depression and PTSD, and ultimately realized that this wasn’t the answer and began his fight. With many surgeries, Calvin is no longer paralyzed, and has overcome his addiction. Calvin always puts others above himself, and even sold his Disturbed meet-and-greet to provide for his children.

  • Cindy

    This Friday, Cindy is about to undergo 9 weeks of chemotherapy to combat cancer that was discovered this past April. The cancer formed around a liver transplant she had in April 2017, which was necessary after being diagnosed with PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis). She was given only one month to live prior to the transplant. Cindy and her husband Joe generously donated to Sandi’s dog’s bone cancer treatment, which is how they all met.

NOMINATE A FIGHTER OF THE MONTH

If you would like to nominate someone you know to be a Fighter Of The Month, please follow one of the two options below. You may not nominate yourself. If your nomination is selected, we will reach out to get more information.
  • Option 1: Post a photo of the person who you are nominating on Instagram with the hashtag #FighterOfTheMonth, and tell us why that person should be chosen in the caption.
  • Option 2: Record a video no longer than 1 minute and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #FighterOfTheMonth, and tell us why that person should be chosen.