Cancer Patient Project

About us

An update: We are very sad to share that Lex Rivers died on October 13th, 2022 from ocular (uveal) melanoma.

In 2020 we met Lex on Instagram when she was recently diagnosed with cancer. About a year later we became partners and she joined us in organizing this project. Lex was a 28 year old oncology nurse, ex-moonie activist, poet, and zinester from Oakland California. You can find her two poetry zines and a choose your own cancer adventure zine (co-authored with Aster Foley) under the "Zine Library" tab, buy her zines in the "Shop" tab, read her article posted in the LA Times (linked below), listen to her and Charlie's podcast Radically Disfigured and find their zines related to disfigurement at , and read more of Lex's poetry and personal writing on her Deviant Art here. Lex's obituary was published in the LA Times on November 4th, 2022.

How the project got started:

As a result of some vigorous internet searching to find other trans people with cancer, we (Charlie and Roman) met on Tumblr in 2017. Together we reflected on our experiences, and almost a year later we decided to start this project. We began by creating a collaborative trans cancer patient anthology "Transpire" in order to build community, and advocate for healthcare and treatment that recognizes our autonomy and diversity. Through this, we also found that there were very few cancer resources and support groups created by and for patients themselves, and even less created with trans people in mind. So we hoped to provide a space where trans people with cancer can just be together and started the Transgender Cancer Network on Facebook - a support group for and by trans cancer patients.

The main goal for this project will always be to support and provide community for fellow transgender cancer patients. We also seek to create and collaborate on community led sources of education and activism in order to de-stigmatize patient experiences and de-gender healthcare at large. On this website you can find trusted resources and groups, events we are attending, projects we're working on, trans cancer patient related fundraisers to share and donate to, and zines!

We love to use zines, or self published books, to explore many of these topics because they allow us full artistic freedom. We are always working on making new zines available for everyone to read for free online, as well as printed copies to send for free to fellow trans cancer patients. We sell printed zines for a small fee online and at zine fests throughout the year to help offset the cost of zine production and shipping and also to give to trans cancer patient fundraisers.

Very importantly, this is not our job and we have/will never make a profit from this project. We simply do it because it's something we care deeply about. Any donated funds we receive are paid back to transgender cancer patients directly via cash giving apps or fundraising pages. If you are or know of a trans cancer patient actively looking for financial assistance please connect us so that we can share their info here and on social media - the amount of money we are able to give will vary based on zine sales, project donations, and our personal financial situations. You can find people's fundraisers to share and donate to yourself under the 'Mutual Aid' tab.

The Transgender Cancer Patient Project and all of the friends we've made throughout these years because of it are extremely special to us, and we hope to make things as accessible, supportive, and safe as we can. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out! With that in mind, we are only supporting individuals and community led projects that aim to directly improve the lives of trans people with cancer, and to dismantle oppressive systems. For profit corporations, non-profits, or researchers looking for us to advertise should expect no response.

With love and solidarity,

Roman Ruddick and Charlie Manzano

Some featured articles:

Why is it so hard to get healthcare as a trans cancer patient?

Discomfort and hostility can come from every corner of the healthcare system including doctors, nurses, and technicians.

LA Times

By: Lex Rivers

Find the article here

Our Own Words

People with cancer and their loved ones find ways for their voices to be heard without filters.

Cancer Today

By: Bradley Jones

Find the article here

Troubling blind spots in understanding cancer risks among transgender patients

Bias, discrimination, and a lack of good data may be impeding cancer screening and risk assessments for the transgender population. In this article, the second of a 2‐part series, we explore the remaining gaps in understanding and communicating the risks.

Cancer Cytopathology by the American Cancer Society

By: Bryn Nelson

Find the article here

A cancer screening crisis for transgender patients

Discrimination, patient unease, provider ignorance, and a highly gendered health care system are impeding cancer screening and risk assessment in the transgender population. In this article, the first of a 2‐part series, we explore how clinicians can begin to address those barriers.

Cancer Cytopathology by the American Cancer Society

By: Bryn Nelson

Find the article here