Crowdfunding Sites Help Boulder County Residents Raise Money To Pay For Treatments

By John Bear
Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Crowdfunding site, “YouCaring” says “Medical” is its fastest-growing category, with the total number of medical fundraisers growing three times as fast in 2017 as it did in 2016.

Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

Cheryl Stegman was diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago, but it’s changed her in more ways that one.

“Before I got cancer, my hair was blonde,” Stegman said recently in her Niwot home. “This has really changed me. It’s been a transformation.”

Stegman, 60, was diagnosed in April with breast cancer, which has spread to her bones, liver, lung, lymph nodes, spine and hip. She underwent chemotherapy treatment and has been told her cancer is “not curable but treatable.”

“Her cancer is a chronic disease,” Stegman’s friend, Deb Kelner, said. “We are trying to have it respond to treatment.”

Her health insurance, once she reached the $2,000 deductible, covered most of the chemotherapy, but she has been receiving extra treatment at the Helios clinic in Boulder and is participating in clinical trials at the Perseus clinic in the Grand Cayman Islands. It cost Stegman $25,000 to sign up for the trials, which also requires her to travel to the islands several times on her own dime.

None of this extra treatment is covered by insurance, and Stegman has gone to crowdfunding to help pay for her treatment. Stegman has raised more than $7,300 on a GoFundMe account that Kelner set up for her earlier this year.

‘Medical is also our fastest-growing category’
A perfunctory search of crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe and YouCaring will reveal a multitude of campaigns for everything from cancer treatment and medical expenses for pets to requests for car payments and funeral expenses.

GoFundMe didn’t respond to numerous requests for comment, but YouCaring spokesman Austin Kapur said in an email that no single category makes up the majority of donations on YouCaring. Medical campaigns, he said, draw the largest volume of donations and the most individual fundraisers.

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