This is a community. I kind of hate that term, FGC, it is just so damn…clinical. The truth is that we are a collective, comrades, a camaraderie who found themselves through a genre that spent some time neglected by popular gaming culture. That made us strong in the best possible way, it made us cohesive in a manner that other communities don’t quite have. We take care of our own; above all else we do this. Whether online or offline there is really strong bond to this hobby. Some of you may not have experienced it but you will. Others know exactly what I’m talking about because they’ve been there. Right now one of our own needs some help. Shatterstar, long time poster here in Shoryuken, has cancer. This isn’t a plea to help him, although he could damn well use it, this is to help him accomplish a goal that would help him too.
In the land of long ago, before Street Fighter 4 and Broken Tier, there was one community t-shirt with the oddest thing on it: Negro Install. Guilty Gear XRD was recently released so some of you may be familiar Sol’s Dragon Install move where he powers up. These shirts were definitely meant to power you up. I never had a chance to buy any of the shirts. The one time I could it came between looking fly or paying college tuition (made the wrong choice and ended up with a degree). But for some of the older members, this was the shoryuken exclusive brand. Here’s a link to an old thread with some of the t-shirt pictures:
Shatterstar (or Shatta as he is known to a lot of us in the forum) spent time working on his health some years back. Because of his predisposition to diabetes, he got his weight down from over 300 pounds down to 179. Once he reached his weight goal, things fell apart. It started with vomiting, being unable to eat, and diarrhea. His health update consisted telling us doctors didn’t know what was wrong. Things escalated last year when he looked for better help. After a series of questions, the fact that his mother had died of cancer became an intense flag. Some tests later, it went from suspicion to fact: He has cancer.
The thing about cancer is that it isn’t quite a battle; it is closer to an endurance race. You need to have a rugged determination just to deal. My wife’s aunt went through cancer three times; she tells me that the second one was particularly funny because that’s when she learned that she had an ovary left. That woman could’ve pistol whipped dirty harry with his own gun if needed. When you have cancer, you need to have grit. Let me tell you, Shatta has a damn load of it. He has grit, he has problems, he has a colostomy bag because of some cancer related surgeries and he has some damn strong hope. That’s one of ours: grinding teeth and a strong light.
He is one of ours. He may not have intellectualized to the level I am here, but I’m sure he knows we would help if asked. This entire time he never asked us for a damn thing. The whole time he spent giving us updates he’d been hard at work on some things. They turned out to be this:
This community learned to hustle out of necessity. For Shatta this isn’t just a hustle, this is also about being grateful. Two charities have helped him with donations for some of his hospital bills and gift cards. He set up a fundraiser here:
The way it works is simple: we donate so he can make the t-shirts and sell them. Meeting certain goals means he has the funds to do more with the designs which in turn are sold to raise money for the charities that have helped him out. We donate to him, he works on the t-shirts which in turn gives him work while putting back into charities. Even if he can’t make the goals, we do what this community does: help our own. Our own could use all the help he can get. When the worst thing you get out of donating is helping out somebody with cancer, there is very little reason not to do so.
If you’re wondering I’m writing this on his behalf, well, it is mostly because his hands look like this:
It took him a good 3 weeks get those t-shirts done. Between his hands and the days where he wasn’t quite all there, a lot of us were pretty impressed by the speed of it. His hands have definitely taken a beating; one of our other members had to point out all the spelling mistakes he had originally on his fundraiser page too. That’s what chemotherapy does to your hand and he is still full of that damn courage and filled with grit. Please help. Help because he is still alive and kicking ass, help because maybe you’ve been there, help because you love fighting games and all that jazz but help, most of all, because that is one of the major things we do for each other. Outside of money matches, trips to Evo, 500,000 dollar pots and shady netcode, we take care of our own and our own definitely needs our help.
Some useful links for those who want to know more:
His fundraiser page: https://www.crowdrise.com/intheblacklabeldapparel/fundraiser/bishopwagner
Him discussing the part of his situation:
And the story told in his own words:
And definitely not least, the two charities that have helped him out: