$79,404 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 276 people in 8 months
Created June 20, 2017

Whether you know Katie Merritt from her early days in Redlands and Laguna Beach, or circa San Francisco where she stormed the real estate market while tackling AIDS prevention, whether you bumped into Katie in Bend where she founded BendFilm or at Wordstock in Portlandia where her wordplay was unparalleled…however and whenever you met Katie, the thing I know for sure, once you have her in your life, everything gets better.

She’s creative, brilliant, irreverent, giving and so, so funny.  Katie’s a tenaciously loving parent to her 9-year old son Oliver, a supportive and hilariously frank sister, a great friend to many and her smile lights the skies! 

I met Katie when she was born, and then ignored her for 15 years or so (she has other versions that involve the word torture, but we won’t go there). At some point I realized that my little sister is an exceptional human being. Katie is a woman who makes things happen, and I am so proud to be her sister. 

I am therefore devastated to write you now about Katie’s diagnosis and fight against cancer.

Medical Details: Diagnosed in May with an unusually aggressive triple negative breast cancer, Katie learned that everything will have to stop while she fights back. The treatment plan is to hit as hard as medically possible. Chemo treatment began May 23 and continues into October.  A double mastectomy, radiation treatment, and participation in a clinical trial will follow. Katie's oncologist advises it will be at least a year before she can return to her career in real estate. While treatment for any of the 3 common types of breast cancer now enjoys an impressive success rate, Katie's cancer does not yet have specifically targeted treatments and thus requires a full blast of everything in the oncological arsenal. 

Numbers have been crunched, expenses cut.  It is clear that the combination of mounting out-of-pocket medical expenses with a lack of income will quickly evaporate Katie's savings.  
Katie is only 51 and a single Mom. I created this campaign together with Katie's longtime friend, Molly Kreuzman, because we want Katie’s sole focus to be on healing, for herself and for Oliver.  

We will do everything in our power to help Katie make it through this year, and I ask you to join us in her fight, to help her with the financial reality of having to suspend her work in real estate, a career that cannot move aside on the tough days. 

This is it, your chance to step up, to Help Katie Conquer Cancer! 

Molly and I estimate we need to raise $75,000 to cover living and medical expenses for Katie and Oliver to make it through. Every gift, of whatever size, helps.  Please also consider reaching out to Katie over email or by post. I’d like Katie to know that we are all rooting for her and sending positive energy in the many forms that will help her make it through this year. 

THANK YOU for being there, for my family and for my non-bratty little sister. We’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Yours, shoulder to shoulder,

Martha Merritt

ADDITIONAL DETAILS, if you're curious. 

* Wondering how Katie is these days? 
Her most pronounced chemo side effects thus far include nausea, fatigue, bowel disturbance, and what Katie describes as, "sudden onset LSDism" when her equilibriem is spontaneously lost and images melt ever so slightly into rainbow orbs.   The side effects hit and lift in a still unpredictable manner.  She's tired; our former workaholic naps twice most days. Katie's learning to flow w/ an "hour by hour" approach to life and there are fortunately batches of good hours. Her ferocious wit continues unabated.

* Donation Notes
My professional life is spent teaching as well as being Dean at such universities as The University of Chicago, and now the University of Richmond, so I am sensitive to questions regarding the management of donated funds. Molly and I will keep the process transparent and keep you updated as funds are received.

As an experienced professional fundraiser in her own right, for her non-profit organization Coyote Trails School of Nature in Ashland, Oregon, Molly brings a wealth of knowledge in how to raise money and how to stretch a buck. She will be in-charge of day to day management of Katie’s Go Fund Me and expenses. She is happy to answer any questions, as am I. 

Donations will be managed ideally to last in excess of a year with the understanding that Katie's treatment plan is merely a draft, subject to change depending on Katie's health. If she gets a cold, for example, chemo will be delayed until she rallies. Donations will be allocated directly to pay Katie's monthly bills including mortgage and utilities.  Monthly disbursements will be made to cover groceries, childcare, prescriptions and other essentials. Medical expenses will also be paid directly from donations. Reports of money spent can be provided to anyone interested. Regular updates on Katie's treatment progress will be posted here. 

Still wondering about something? Please don't hesitate to share your questions with us by clicking the green email icon above.
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Well great news! Katie continues to do well and we are celebrating with a long weekend in Phoenix with Bridget Schweri AND we will be having dinner with Katie's Aunt Vim, 94 years young...can't wait!
Also if you didn't know Katie just celebrated her birthday....how monumental!!!
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PS Thanks to Go Fund Me for providing this awesome platform for so many folks!!!
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I am utterly and stupendously overwhelmed with gratitude to the many of you who have helped push us over our goal of $60,000 (some of which was donated "offline") which means that our Katie will receive the $15,000 donation as promised and get her past her goal to a

GRAND TOTAL OF $79,404!!!

This most amazing help for she and Oliver mean they have the ability to breath, not worry about losing their home and can indeed celebrate a most Happy New Year!!

Katie is currently cancer-free and after some recovery time from her double mastectomy she will begin the process of rebuilding her real estate career. This is part of your gift, that she now has the time to rebuild without immediate financial worry! She will also get involved with some medical trails as her type of cancer is known to recur. Alas we shall cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

For now please accept Katie's most humbled acknowledgement and love for your amazing kindness!!

Happiest Holidays Indeed!!
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$79,404 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 276 people in 8 months
Created June 20, 2017
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Mike Kilroy
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
Mike Smith
2 months ago
Emily Melcher
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Peter Wilson
2 months ago
Ken & Molly Renner
2 months ago
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