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Maria Balata
Aug 05, 2021
In Share Your Memory
My favorite memory of Kindra goes back to the first time we met in 2012. We were both going through SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) training and I, a brand new advocate, was quietly sitting in that big auditorium with a bunch of fierce emergency department nurses feeling totally out of place. We broke off into groups to walk through some roleplay scenarios. My group was adjacent to Kindra's whom I hadn't yet met but I overheard her group read the first heavy scenario and pause unsure what to do. Another visibly overwhelmed nurse asked the group "sooo what do we even do first?" and that's when I heard a feisty spiky-haired, way-too-cool nurse confidently shout out "You call 9-1-1 AND you call the advocate. You always call the advocate!" My ears immediately perked at the reference to calling the advocates. I had just started working with Resilience (formerly RVA) and it was my job then to train medical professionals on the rights of sexual assault patients. I had been informed during my onboarding that we had trouble with getting hospitals to page advocates and too often IF we were paged, it happened at the end of the patient's care. Who was this rockstar nurse that knew to call the advocate and proclaimed it so boldly?! Where did she work?! I hoped it was one of the hospitals we served. I didn't know her but I knew I wanted her on my team! This was a story I still told Kindra regularly when we trained together and I would publically proclaim she was my favorite SANE ever. I could tell it didn't seem extraordinary to her and she would laugh when I brought it up. She became my buddy in this work, we learned together and we developed expertise together and constantly reminded one another to slow down and rest. Eventually, and most importantly, she also became my friend. There is something extraordinary about Kindra and today I know it goes beyond the fact that she is a deeply committed advocate for survivors, which is countercultural in its own way. She marched to the beat of her own drum and she invited us to dance along with her. I am grateful for the privilege to have grown professionally and personally alongside such a spirited and extraordinary human. Rest in Power, my friend. but most of all, may you rest.
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Maria Balata

Maria Balata

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