Dahlia Sky Dies Four Months After Sharing Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Dahlia Sky, 31, was just one week shy of her 32nd birthday when she took her own life.
- Born Melissa Sims, Dahlia revealed in March that she had stage IV breast cancer and was homeless.
- Many are now calling for more and better mental health resources for people struggling mentally and physically.
The adult film star was just one week shy of her 32nd birthday when she took her own life.Read More
Many now want to know why more is not being done to protect the mental health of those who are ailing in the wake of a cancer diagnosis.
Given her line of work, this diagnosis was particularly devastating for Sky.
“If you are a sex worker, your relationship with your body, it’s your lifeline,” Dr. Marianna Strongin tells SurvivorNet. “It becomes the way in which you make an income. It also becomes the most valued part of your body. It’s no longer your personality, and you’re not able to utilize other parts and so the value system there is very different. And so, if you find out that your body is sick, and is even less likely to survive, then who are you?”
Dr. Strongin noted, however, that cancer was more than likely just one of the many contributing factors to Sky’s death.
“I think the moral of what I’m trying to say here is, it is not so simple. There’s layers in this story that I think are really heartbreaking. And cancer is just one of them,” says Dr. Storngin.
“I think when people get diagnosed with cancer, yes, it’s a breakdown in their system, it’s a breakdown in their optimism and their future-oriented thinking, but over time they are able to find a way to move forward and be optimistic. I’ve seen people with stage IV, say to me, you know, I’m going to survive this right. But this person was already too beaten down to do that.”
Dr. Strongin also says that anyone who is concerned about a friend or family member taking their life should look at this checklist from Columbia University.
“It’s super easy, just a few questions that you can ask, and it tells you how, how much of a risk factor that person is,” explains Dr. Strongin.
For those who cannot afford a specialist, a social worker can be a great asset. They can help with a variety of issues that arise during cancer treatment, from mental health issues to financial issues.
Sarah Kelly, director of social work training at Cancer Care, previously explained to Survivor Net that the shock of hearing you have cancer for the first time sets off a fight or flight or freeze response in a lot of people. Freeze, she said, is the most common of the three.
She pointed out that because doctors tend to throw a lot of information at people when they tell them they have cancer, it can be difficult to sift through that information and pick out what’s important.
And for those times when things get overwhelming there are social workers like Kelly who can offer help.
“We provide counseling services, we do that face-to-face and also over the telephone, for anyone in the country. We also have support groups that are also face-to-face, over the phone, and online, so we can provide those services nationally to individuals who were diagnosed. We also provide support in terms of some patient navigation, so helping people figure out where to go and what to do, especially when they’re first diagnosed,” said Kelly.
“I think when someone is stuck or hit with that shock of initial diagnosis, which I’ve talked about before as being a trauma, it’s hard to know, your mind can go completely blank. ”
She then noted: “And you need to know that you are not alone in this. And there is support out there for you.”
In the case of Sky, this was all the more complicated since her body was central to her work. And it is unclear if she ever sought treatment.
Scrolling through my photos and found some photos of Dahlia Sky where Juelz Ventura made care packages for the homeless in Vegas and we passed them out on Christmas Eve last year. pic.twitter.com/T7AcpQFa9t
— Asian Joe (@webmasterjoe) July 12, 2021
Her final four months appeared to be tumultuous ones for Sky, who revealed on her social media accounts that was she homeless until May.
She was also struggling for work because of the pandemic but had started to film again. She only makes reference to one scene though, and spoke quite often about her lack of success on adult sites and the performer-friendly Only Fans.
One of the friends who took her in wrote on Twitter: “Sad that three people that I tried to help all died this year. I’ll tell you this, it’s very hard to help someone who can’t help themselves. People say don’t be afraid to ask for help. I also want to say, don’t be afraid to accept help.”
He also shared a photo of his friend from Christmas Eve last year handing out care packages to those in need in Las Vegas.
A Go Fund Me for the family can be found here.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255.