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Ameena Matthews Diagnosed With Cancer

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 8, 2014 9:45PM

Ameena Matthews/courtesy of Kartemquin Films

Ameena Matthews, the community activist and subject of the documentary The Interrupters has revealed she has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer that is a result of abnormal growth of plasma cells. Kartemquin Films announced the news on their website and social media earlier today. Matthews was one of the main subjects in the Steve James-directed, Alex Kotlowitz-produced film The Interrupters which showed the harrowing and admirable work of those involved with the violence prevention organization Ceasefire here in Chicago. The film garnered critical acclaim and national attention, including media appearances for Matthews on The Colbert Report as well as awards for her hard work.

Kartemquin Films posted the information to bring attention to a fundraising page that has been set up to help Matthews cover her medical costs. According to the fundraising page, Matthews has been deemed ineligible for health coverage by the State of Illinois, and in Kartemquin's post they point out Matthews is no longer an employee of Ceasefire. If you were inspired by the work Matthews did and want to help her during this difficult time, you can contribute to the fundraising campaign here.