Crowdfunding Medical Bills - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Fundraising Online to Help with Medical Bills

Posted: Updated:

Twenty-eight year old Amelia Coffaro is in the fight of her life. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of inflammatory breast cancer. She started chemo, and underwent a double mastectomy less than 6 weeks later. Dr. Alysandra Aal is her surgeon.

"She is handling this phenomenally well. But you have to understand, to be 28 and given this diagnosis hits you out of left field."

She had no health insurance to ward off what quickly became a mountain of medical bills. So a group of her friends got together and did something very loving - and very effective. It's called crowd-funding, raising start-up money for small businesses. In this case - for Project Amelia.

"It's a lot of money."

Using a website called www.giveforward.com, Amelia's friends raised $50,000 - money that almost matches what she owes. The website narrowed its focus to medical expenses. And why not? Half of American adults say they would not be able to easily come up with just $2,000 in case of a medical emergency.

"We realized what a huge problem it really was in this country and we shifted our focus to focus only on medical," says Give Founder Ethan Austin.

Like similar sites, Give Forward makes money from small fees connected to the donations. It's not just friends and family donating, but long-lost acquaintances - and even total strangers.

"I think I was humbled by how many people reached out to me, who didn't even know me. There are no words to describe that feeling."

Amelia is getting treatment now so she can be close to her immediate family. And she was able to get Medicaid to help cover upcoming expenses. Her doctors say reducing the financial burden, affected her recovery.

"It shows a huge well of support for her. People she knows. People she doesn't know, who are all there supporting her -- not just emotionally, but also financially," says Dr. Lal.

Since launching, www.giveforward.com has already donated more than $52 million to thousands of families.

  • Kristen Remington's Health Watch ReportsMore>>

  • Northern Nevada Medical Center Opens New Rehab & Sports Medicine Center

    Northern Nevada Medical Center Opens New Rehab & Sports Medicine Center

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 10:03 PM EDT2017-09-21 02:03:30 GMT

    Physical therapy is helpful for people who are injured, who just had surgery or who've had a stroke, MS, even Parkinson's disease. Now Northern Nevada Medical Center is offering another option for PT on the south side of town. What makes it unique in Health Watch.

    More >>

    Physical therapy is helpful for people who are injured, who just had surgery or who've had a stroke, MS, even Parkinson's disease. Now Northern Nevada Medical Center is offering another option for PT on the south side of town. What makes it unique in Health Watch.

    More >>
  • Senator Mitch McConnell Presses Ahead With Health Care Vote

    Senator Mitch McConnell Presses Ahead With Health Care Vote

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 4:55 PM EDT2017-09-20 20:55:03 GMT

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring up a GOP health care bill on the Senate floor next week. That's according to McConnell's spokesman, David Popp.

    More >>

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring up a GOP health care bill on the Senate floor next week. That's according to McConnell's spokesman, David Popp.

    More >>
  • Hantavirus Confirmed in Washoe County

    Hantavirus Confirmed in Washoe County

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 1:29 AM EDT2017-09-20 05:29:56 GMT

    Washoe County health district officials say a south Reno resident has contracted the county's first case of hantavirus since 2006.

    More >>

    Washoe County health district officials say a south Reno resident has contracted the county's first case of hantavirus since 2006.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.