Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Clown-Porn Pioneer Battles Aggressive Cancer

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Hollie Stevens
  • Hollie Stevens

Hollie Stevens is a performer at heart. With her blonde hair and amazing body, she's hard to miss. Stevens performed in the adult industry. In addition to mainstream porn, she did a lot of clown porn -- which is just what it sounds like. "I shot a lot of clown porn for amusement," says Stevens. Stevens also loved to kick-box, and she was extremely athletic. She was no different than a lot of us when we were young who believe we're invincible.

So when this very young healthy woman noticed a lump on her breast, she let it go at first.

"I noticed it and paid attention to it, but going to the doctor is hard when you don't have insurance," says Stevens.

The lump didn't go away.

"In January of last year I freaked out and went to the doctor," Stevens says. "I wasn't expecting that they would tell me I have cancer. [They did.] I felt like a bomb had just been dropped on me."

In short order, Stevens went from wondering where she was going on vacation to wondering whether she was going to live.

lr_hollie_stevens_01.jpg

Because of Healthy San Francisco, the city's innovate program for health-care access, Stevens was able to seek medical treatment and have a lot of her medical bills covered. She eventually received eight treatments of chemotherapy.

"After the chemo treatment, I waited two months and I had my mastectomy," says Stevens.

While waiting to start radiation therapy she noticed her right leg was really sore. The pain became excruciating and she went in to see what was causing it. The doctors were baffled. After tests, they told Stevens she also had bone cancer.

"I am on crutches now, and they started radiation immediately," she says. "They put me through 10 treatments of radiation and they haven't been able to get rid of it."

She was scheduled for surgery Monday -- an attempt to ease some of the strain the cancer has put on her leg and hips. A new tumor has been found in her other breast. On March 28 when she went for a checkup with her oncologist, the doctors told Stevens she also had cancer on her right rib as well as her liver.

Hollie Stevens in one of her clown roles
  • Hollie Stevens in one of her clown roles

While Stevens has coverage for most of her medical bills, some of her prescriptions are not covered. Some cost $200 each. She still must also pay rent, buy food, and go to doctors' appointments.

Stevens is on her third round of fundraising, which showed her quickly that she is not alone. In fact she relies on donations. Stevens current goal to raise is $15,000, and she has raised more than $11,000. Stevens' drive ends Friday, April 6.

One of her supporters is Laura Lasky, who works for Solace SF, which organizes care for sex workers. Lasky has been a champion for Stevens' cause. (Contact her if you want to help.) She helps Stevens complete paperwork and make sure she gets the medical care she needs. Lasky is also in charge of Stevens' current fundraiser on GiveForward.

January Seraph
  • January Seraph

Several other friends have stepped forward. January Seraph, a professional dominatrix, is donating her skills to the cause. People who donate $50 to Stevens, as well as those who donate $500 or more, will have 30-minute and hour-long increments added to time they buy with Seraph.

I've seen some negative coverage on this story because of Stevens' job as an adult performer. That kind of press feeds into the stereotypes that already exist about sex workers. Stevens is a human being, and no one should have to deal with all of this alone. Cancer affects us all, and too many of us have either lost people to it or have fought it ourselves. People in the adult community have rallied around their friend in a way that is truly heartwarming. This illness has changed Stevens' life and it has changed the lives of the people around her forever.

Good luck, Hollie.

------------

Vanessa L. Pinto (aka Fleur De Lis SF) documented a year of her sex life on her blog Whatever You Desire. She also blogs for the Huffington Post and is a contributing writer with Whore! Magazine. She has a degree in political science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Vanessa L. Pinto

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"