GoFundMe Set Up To Help Former Indie Star Vanessa Kraven

Vanessa Kraven

For 16 years, Canadian wrestler Vanessa Kraven was a star on both the U.S. and Canadian indie circuits. The Montreal native was trained by famed Canadian trainer Ron Hutchison (Edge, Trish Stratus, etc.) and for two decades, competed for the likes of SHIMMER Wrestling and Shine Wrestling in the U.S., Smash Wrestling, Northern Championship Wrestling (nCw), Capital City Championship Combat (C4), and more in her native Canada, and in Japan with the likes of NEO, Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project (JWP), Ice Ribbon, and WAVE. In 2018, her career hit a pinnacle, when she was selected to compete in the second WWE Mae Young Classic. Despite a loss in the first round to Lacey Lane (now Kayden Carter in NXT), Kraven was booked strong, and it seemed like she may still end up in NXT. But just months later, she suffered a broken ankle that required surgery that November. Vanessa Kraven never wrestled again. Two years later, in August of 2020, she announced her retirement from professional wrestling.

Many fans wondered what had happened to the former indie star. Was it due to the surgery? Was it due to the pandemic? Well this week, one of Kraven’s close friends, Dina Marneris,  revealed the true story and has set up a GoFundMe to help Vanessa Kraven as she has endured great personal crisis with her family’s health, her own injuries, and recent battles with mental illness, that have left her without income and in need of aid.

Dina wrote the story on the GoFundMe page:

Everywhere we went together, people asked ‘Are you sisters? You look so much alike!” We may not have the same parents but we have grown to become as close as sisters. When I first started in the wrestling business, Vanessa took me with her everywhere she went, introduced me to all the great people, and always treated me like a peer. On tours, she never minded sharing a room with the odd chick. So yes, we grew to become sisters.
But my ‘little’ sister is down.
Yet in my eyes she is bigger than ever before. It takes a lot of courage and strength to allow others to help you during trying times, let alone turn to others for help. Yet here we are and I stand by her always.
The past 4 years have been ups-and-downs in Vanessa’s life and career. The WWE Mae Young Classic was supposed to help her career, yet she returned a very different woman. It was only a few weeks later that she was injured on an indy show, right before she probably would have had several big opportunities. She never fully recovered and had no choice but to ultimately put an end to her career in a way that no one would have imagined. She buried her grief in work, working hours like never before. Then, the covid-19 pandemic hit and cost her her job, and exacerbated the anxiety that had developed over the last couple of years. It completely transformed my little sister into someone I had never seen before. She was isolating and ducking my calls and messages. Sometimes, I wouldn’t hear from her for several days and be worried. Then I would get a random ‘I love you, Dina. I miss you a shit ton’. I’d try to reach out and see her, but she wasn’t up for it. Sometimes, we would take quiet drives, just to breathe some fresh air, just to be there and listen to whatever she had to say. She barely said anything. I was just hoping to find my little sister again at some point. I missed her and couldn’t understand what was going on.
In the early summer, she told me she had been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder and was beginning treatment the following week. I was relieved and happy to know that she was seeking treatment. However I was incredibly surprised – anyone who knows Vanessa will tell you how cool, calm, and collected she always was. She was always the reasonable one, the one to give the good advice, the one who calmed our fears. To me, she had always been invincible. A few weeks later, Vanessa ended up in the hospital following a huge meltdown she suffered as a result of being given the wrong medication. She remained in the hospital for 18 days. Once she was out of there, there was no way I was going to leave her alone. I didn’t want to risk losing her again. Thankfully, she has a good medical team to support her and is now monitored closely.
The doctors told her that, in order to make a full recovery, Vanessa needs to rest and take the time she needs to get back up. Looking for work is absolutely out of the question for the time being as doctors work to help Vanessa gain control of her anxiety. But Vanessa is a workhorse, she has a hard time putting her life on hold (and understandably so). Vanessa doesn’t have a husband or a boyfriend to support her, and her mom is currently recovering from cancer surgery and she herself needs to rest. Her biggest concern right now is getting by with rent, bills to pay, and getting good food to refuel her mind and body. Vanessa is all out of gear, pictures, and merch to sell, and she doesn’t have the energy right now to make any more.
Vanessa is a fighter, and she intends on winning this battle.
This campaign is an effort to help Vanessa on her road to a full recovery. Having money to cover several months worth of rent and bills while getting back on her feet is important. So if you can, please donate. Any amount will be appreciated. However, if you cannot donate, please consider sharing to help.
I will update you on her progress right here as we go. Thanking everyone in advance for your help!
We love you Vanessa!
If you can help out, please follow this link to the GoFundMe and help get Vanessa Kraven back on track. Let’s show her how much we love her!

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