The Relay Refresh RoadTrip traveled to the Atlantic City area in New Jersey to meet with Maya Rose Stark. It was no surprise to hear that she was rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. When asked about her first job, she told us she was an animal lover, with four cats and three dogs, and her first job as a teenager was in a pet store.
She has been in Second Life nearly ten years and has 80,168 items in her inventory. An Army veteran, who we thanked for her service, Maya lives with PTSD and an aversion to “crowds”. A real life friend, who made clothes in Second Life, introduced her to the grid and she has been “addicted” ever since. It became her “socialization outlet… meeting people from all over the world” and a way for her to “artistically express herself” and do things for others.
She uses a Windows 10 desktop and told us she “hates phones”. Her husband and her best friend make her laugh, and she told us that her funniest noob memory involved trying to use those “pink and blue” pose ball menus. Her favorite song is Count On Me by Bruno Mars and her favorite musician is Enya.
Her favorite TV show is Game of Thrones which feeds her addiction to role-play in both Second Life and InWorldz. She described her GOT character as a “Princess” who is “hard headed” and would rather yield a sword and ride a horse than wear a fancy gown. She was part of a seventy sim InWorldz GOT role-play community and now is actively involved in a similar Second Life GOT community.
When asked about her hero, she immediately told us about her mother, who was the “strongest and most resilient woman she has ever known”. Maya is a four year breast cancer survivor, who has Relayed in both InWorldz and Second Life. She started Relaying in Second Life last year by forming a small team called “The Finishing School of Angels”. They held events and “wherever and whenever” they could, they helped out others. Her plans for the upcoming Relay season include talking to her role-play community about possibly forming a GOT team.
Maya told us that cancer is a “horrible invasive disease” and you always live in fear that it is going to come back. She shared with us that her PTSD has made her journey especially difficult, because she has to step outside her comfort zone to get medical treatment. When asked about her favorite Relay moment, she told us that sharing her story and difficulties with Trader1 Whiplash on T1 Radio during Relay weekend made her realize all the support available in Second Life.
She also told us that during Relay Rock weekend, she was awake at two o’clock in the morning, so she logged on and tp’d to the Relay Rock event. Much to her surprise, she found a few people dancing, among them her friend, Madonna Daehlie, and not being able to sleep, she remembers how it was “relaxing and fun”.
Talking to Maya, one is reminded of how big a difference even one person or a small group of people can make in Relay. In spite of her everyday challenges, Maya is looking forward to the upcoming Relay season and being a part of making it “the best season ever”.
This veteran… this cancer survivor... this woman… is strong... Army strong... HOOAH!
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