The consulting community is mourning the loss of Democratic digital practitioner Anastasia Golovashkina. Twitter feeds this week filled up with remembrances of Golovashkina, 28, who had been battling brain cancer since her June 2019 diagnosis.
She had been public about her fight against glioblastoma, an aggressive form of the disease, writing about how she initially thought she was having a stroke when her symptoms first appeared. In fact, she wrote, “I wasn’t having a stroke. I had a brain tumor—one that had grown to be 2.5” x 2” x 2.25”, about the size of a billiard ball.”
Still, she continued working first on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign and later returning to Trilogy Interactive where she held the title of senior director, social media.
“My office was next to Anastasia’s, and her relentless positivity always made my day better. She carried that spirit into everything, everywhere. I miss her,” Larry Huynh, a partner at the firm, told C&E.
In fact, that positivity is what many colleagues remember most about Golovashkina — even before her diagnosis.
Brent Blackaby, a former partner at Trilogy, recalled what was supposed to be a post-election celebration lunch in Berkley, Calif. after the 2016 election where Golovashkina was the lone diner raising the spirits of her despondent colleagues.
“Here we go for this amazing celebratory lunch that just turned into this wake, but again Anastasia was Anastasia. She was one of the people at the lunch who helped us keep our heads up — ‘This is just the beginning, we’ve got to keep fighting,’” Blackaby recalled. “Even before her illness that was kind of always her attitude and certainly after and during what an enormous challenge she was facing she never lost that spirit.”
He added: “I don’t know if there are many of us, if faced with similar challenges, who would be able to take it with such good humor and joy.”
Golovashkina was generous with her expertise, frequently making time to mentor other practitioners and advise upstart candidates.
“When I first started in social media, @golovashkina was the first person in the industry to believe in me. Whenever I needed career advice, Anastasia was always there. I’m absolutely heartbroken to learn of her passing. We need more Anastasias in the world,” Ryan Solsten tweeted July 18.
Adrienne Michelson, a colleague from the Warren campaign, posted about how Golovashkina helped her through her own cancer battle. “You supported me through hell and back,” she tweeted July 18.
Two memorials are planned for Golovashkina this week. Family and friends will be gathering Friday, July 22 at the M J Suerth Funeral Home in Chicago from 5-8 p.m. Additionally, there’s an event planned for Sunday at 5 p.m. at the UC Berkeley Campus, Eucalyptus Grove.
The West Coast celebration of life event is being organized by former colleagues from Trilogy, who recall her fondly from her time in the digital firm’s Berkeley office, according to Huynh.