“Lovetroopers” was the name Heather gave to her very large, very diverse, geographically widespread group of supporters. The efforts of these folks were coordinated by Heather when she was well enough, by a point person–or several point people– when she was more ill. Most of this coordination happened in the context of a the Lovetroopers yahoogroup, which was started in March 2004, shortly after Heather’s initial diagnosis and surgery. More than 2500 messages have since passed back and forth.
A friend who was very closely involved with Heather the last year of her life once observed “everyone dies, but not everyone has an email list about it.”
This is true, of course, but it need not be. In 2006, Heather spoke to a national symposium about cancer in the LGBT community and presented the Lovetroopers model (as much as it is a model in addition to be a collection of friends, and ex and current lovers). Although Heather would have been the first to admit that the care system didn’t always work perfectly, the lovetroopers are a truly heroic example of what chosen family can do.