Though it’s been many years since poet and educator Glenis Redmond has lived in Asheville, she’s still very much woven into the fabric of this community. Redmond is frequently called upon to contribute her perspective, expertise and talent to Asheville-area causes (most recently Imagine, a community concert benefiting the creation and installation of a large-scale fresco at Haywood Street Congregation). Redmond is a multitime winner of the Best of WNC reader’s poll in the Best Poet category and, to this day, receives votes for that title, though she now lives and works in Greenville, S.C.
But recently Redmond announced that she’s been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness: Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of plasma. “The treatment for Multiple Myeloma is RVD, a triple-therapy which is a cocktail of steroids, antibiotics and a cancer drug that will [be] infused intravenously weekly, while I am at the Cancer Institute,” she writes on a GoFundMe page for her Health Healing Writing Journey. “I will also be on a daily aspirin to prevent clotting, as [well] as undergoing blood testing as the treatment is so toxic. However, chemotherapy and radiation is not an option for this cancer.”
Despite the grim news, Redmond sounds positive and states, “I still stand behind the premise that poetry saved and is saving my life. … I will hopefully have time … to write poetry and prose [that] really feeds my soul. You will hear of those projects soon.”
The GoFundMe campaign, to offset costs of treatment and enable Redmond to “use this time to meditate, to visualize and to manifest a whole and healthy me,” seeks to raise $200,000. Contributors have already donated more than $20,000.