Rhode Island-based multi-instrumentalist Gail Greenwood, known for her work in bands like Belly and L7, has revealed that she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2016. Greenwood penned a message on bellyofficial.com Tuesday afternoon, detailing her medical condition and the importance the Affordable Care Act had on her subsequent treatment.
Greenwood states that she was diagnosed just before Belly embarked on a reunion tour, but soldiered on with rehearsals and tours, which included two sold out shows at Royale in August. “Shows had been booked, advance tickets sold, and complicated travel and logistical arrangements were already in place — not just for the band, but for all of you making plans to travel to see us,” she writes. “As you can imagine, it was a huge ‘oh, shit…’ moment.”
With the assistance and aid of Providence’s Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Greenwood worked in chemotherapy and treatment schedules around each Belly tour. “I had surgery six weeks before we kicked things off with our ‘secret’ gig in Newport and then headed to the UK,” writes Greenwood. “I had my first chemotherapy treatment ten hours after flying back from our show in Dublin. Throughout chemo, my Belly compatriots patiently awaited my word on how I was feeling after each round and to see if the next leg of the tour would proceed, putting my health and my needs above all else. They have been incredible. And we did it — not a single cancelled or rescheduled show!”
In relaying the news on Facebook, Belly’s Tanya Donnelly called Greenwood “one of the most amazing humans I know and love.”
And with the Affordable Care Act under threat of repeal but the incoming administration, Greenwood wrote in strong favor of the program, admitting that it has saved her life.
“Thanks to the ACA, many independent artists, musicians, freelancers and small business owners, such as my partner, Chil, and myself, and millions of low-income Americans have access to health insurance and medical care,” she writes. “Chil and I have been with the program since its inception, buying our health insurance through Rhode Island’s excellent exchange. This is not my first ride at the cancer rodeo, and without the provisions of the ACA (such as prohibiting the denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and outlawing yearly and lifetime caps) I would’ve had a very difficult time getting the treatment I needed.”
Greenwood signed her message with two hashtags: #coveragematters and #aca. Read her message in full here. The featured image up top is from the first of Belly’s two-night stand at Royale, shot by Matthew Shelter for Vanyaland.