Kathryn: Until a few days ago Sabrina’s 2013 Go Fund Me was still up and active.
We’ll talk about the hell Sabrina put the woman who created the FB Fundraiser for her through later.
There’s a few reasons it might be down. 1) I reported it. 2) I posted a link on FB and told others who’d donated (many of the listed names were people we’d heard from) to report it. 3) Sabrina might have been alerted and taken it down. It’s hard to know. I woke up the next morning and the link was no longer active.
I didn’t screenshot everything, so you’ll have to imagine the reward levels above Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon. I DID copy the “story” section, imagining it would be of use down the road. Here it is.
“Friends are defined by what we do when things aren’t easy.” Lori Collins, illustrator and dear friend*
I grew up as a shy, geeky African-American girl living in the middle of nowhere. While I put on a brave face in public, I faced many situations in my young life that were almost too much for me to bear and more than any child should ever be asked to. My friends helped when they could but most of the time, what I needed was just someone to care about my well being – something we all need at any age. I firmly believe that my purpose in life is to help others move out of the darkness and find what makes them shine. When I first moved to Seattle, I was on my own and for the first time in my life I was forced to deal with the things that haunted me, that caused my pain and my sadness. A lot of this involved, coming out of my “shell.” And with some coaxing, I found several geek communities in Seattle and worked as a proud and happy staffer at many conventions in the area, and so created the amazing network of friends that I hold so dear to my heart.
Through all these experiences, there has been one lesson I have felt I never fully believed. One concept I would hear echoed through each “tribe” of people but would never really believe it ““ people should lean on your friends and your community when you need support, when you need help. I feel this is a lesson I’m finally able to learn and now I’m asking my friends and my community to help me through a challenge that faces me today.
For those of you who don’t know, I have multiple sclerosis ““ a deteriorating neurological disorder that affects many people different ways. For me, it affects my speech, my cognitive recall, my equilibrium and my motor skills in my legs while causing crippling fatigue and dizziness ““ if left untreated. MS is a very expensive disease to control. It costs a lot physically, emotionally and financially. Without my medication I have seizures, dizzy spells, chronic headaches, patches of forgetfulness and extreme exhaustion ““ and right now, I cannot afford my medication. Unfortunately, I am already experiencing all of these symptoms, but the seizures worry me the most.
I’m sure that many of you have experienced the “joys” of our current health care system. I’m facing two issues with my current healthcare coverage. First, I have a $7,500 deductible on my health insurance, the only insurance I can afford. That means my insurance does not pay for anything until I have met that deductible. I have paid almost $2,200 out of pocket so far this year. However, my doctors want to put me on Avonex, a drug that must be taken via IV but that is very effective in controlling symptoms of MS. Each treatment of Avonex is $4,390. I cannot afford to even start treatment since I know that insurance will not cover any of my first treatment. Once I meet my deductible, however, each treatment will cost me $68 out of pocket, something I can afford.
My second issue is that my insurance will not pay for the Cymbalta that I take to control both my depression and the nerve pain that can be so crippling. I have appealed to my insurance company but haven’t had any luck (many insurance companies do not cover Cymbalta). I have also been denied twice for the Lilly Cares Patient Assistance Program. Cymbalta costs me $219 a month, which is impossible for me to budget for. This is the best medication for me and truly helps me function both at school and at my job. The light at the end of the tunnel is that I will be allowed to enroll in Medicare in October as part of President Obama’s Health Care Reform Act. I just have to make it until then.
So what do I need? Aside from cheers and support, which everyone needs, I need financial support from my friends and community in order to obtain the medications that will help me live life without so many of the disabling symptoms of my MS. These medications will allow me to continue with school, continue with work and find some measure of security in my physical health. My initial goal is to raise the approximately $5100 left to cover this year’s deductible, plus enough to cover my Cymbalta for the rest of the year, for a total of $6850. Any additional money raised will go into a savings account to help me continue to receive the medications I need to be healthy and functional. I know these numbers are huge and I know that everyone is struggling. Whatever you are able to give, it will mean so much.
From Sabrina M Taylor’s April 2013 Gofundme post
*Lori is still an illustrator and isn’t still Sabrina’s dear friend.