We are treating this gofundme as an emergency fundraiser for now. Our initial goal is $10,000.
This will be allocated to:
-seeking initial treatment, including setting up doctor’s appointments and consultations with no insurance
-paying for expensive prescriptions
-securing stable housing (first & last month’s rent as well as a security deposit)
-paying for utilities
-paying for food and other basic necessities
-transportation (public transport because she doesn’t have a car)
For an emergency situation this amount should hold her over until she can get more assistance. However, the average cost of surgery for prostate cancer in Georgia is approximately $30,000. That is for the surgery alone, and can often end up being more than that. There is no way to get an estimate of cost without an initial consultation with an oncologist.
Transgender individuals experience many barriers to healthcare. 31 percent of transgender Americans lack regular access to healthcare. Studies also indicate that transgender adults who are trans-feminine, older, and non-white are more subject to care refusal. Additionally, trans people in the Southern U.S. are even more likely to face care refusal and other forms of medical discrimination.
Lindsey is a kind and special woman with a lot to offer the world. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in addiction recovery. She hasn’t been able to work in her field for about a year due to sickness but she continued to work through it at a job with no benefits and no livable wage. After losing this job she faced homelessness, but overcame it by reaching out to the resources available to her. She sought out organizations in Atlanta specifically for trans women and other people in similar situations who are struggling with finding stable housing and consistent work. She has worked extremely hard to get herself into temporary housing but can’t afford even basic needs (let alone healthcare) and is facing a life or death situation. There is only so much non-profits and other orgs can offer, and we can’t rely on them to act quickly. She has a social worker on her case and has applied for and is waiting for approval for Medicaid, SSI and General Assistance. Lindsey hopes to begin working again as a nurse and a recovery and addiction counselor after recovery.
In this urgent time, I implore you to help someone who is facing many forms of structural marginalization. People should not die because they don’t have enough money to go to the doctor.
Although we have access to a few organizations in Atlanta, it would also be very helpful to hear any suggestions of resources that could help finance or provide support for her. If you have any ideas about this, please comment or send the gofundme account a message!
Thank you to all who consider donating. Anything helps.
***UPDATE AS OF TUESDAY JUNE 16, 2020***
First of all, thank all of y’all so much for donating. It’s been incredible to see all the traction that this has been getting lately and I know that this money will be so helpful to Lindsey as she battles her illnesses. This is especially important given the challenging circumstances she faces being a black trans woman in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to get in touch with Lindsey since the influx of new donations, and I haven't spoken to her since donations were still slow in January. This means the last time anyone has heard from her (as we can tell from public information) is mid-April. Last time we were in touch, she was the sole beneficiary to the account and was able to withdraw funds as needed. I have not been able to see if she is still accessing the fund. I have been told by GoFundMe that they are experiencing a high volume of emails at the moment and haven’t heard back from them beyond that yet. They do not have a phone support line. I assume she would have contacted me in some way by now if she were able to see the funds, so I believe she doesn’t know about them yet.
I am very concerned for her currently, as the pandemic rages and Georgia has very little coronavirus protection for anyone and both the disease and re-openings are ramping up in Atlanta. Statistically speaking, older black people are dying at disproportionate rates and even though there is no data collected in Georgia specifically about black trans women being hospitalized during the pandemic, they are much more likely to experience inequality in healthcare in general. She is also immunocompromised in more ways than just having cancer.
I haven’t heard from or been able to get in touch with her through any of the ways we were in contact before. I know that she had found housing the last time we spoke, but as her update says, was concerned about food security and coronavirus precautions. She also has a history of precarious housing. I have reached out to friends on Facebook for help finding her but she instructed me a few months ago not to out her to her church community or family. I have not yet heard back from any of them.
I’m currently calling the organizations that I know she has reached out to or has been informed of. * On our calls, we are asking these organizations if they have ever heard from her and if not, if they have any advice as to how we might contact her. I am also reaching out to individual psychologists and facilitators of support groups whose names I have sent her in the past year. I don’t know if she has been in contact with any of the orgs or individuals listed. I have a group of people working on calling the organizations looking for her, but if we can’t get any leads this way, I will start contacting area hospitals and shelters by the end of the week.
Even with a couple of us calling, it doesn’t feel like enough due to the urgent action that is necessary for the situation. We are all young and inexperienced in advocacy. I know we are all balancing a million things right now, but if anyone can spare any advice or time to make a phone call or two, it could really help Lindsey’s situation. If you want further information on how to make a call or what personal identifying information we can ask for, please reach out to me through the contact form on the GoFundMe page. I’m planning on sharing this with my facebook friends and I see that many people have also taken initiative in doing the same. Let’s keep sharing because the more public it is, the more likely it is that people who are available to help will see it. It is also possible that we could pool some money toward hiring a Private Investigator who could potentially have access to databases that are not public.
In the meantime, I’m going to raise the goal to $25,000. This is the goal for the short-term, urgent situation. Eventually, once we get in touch and assess her needs, the goal will be adjusted to $35,000, the average cost of prostate surgery.
Again, if anyone has heard from her or has any experience with finding people in this situation, please reach out to me.
Thank you all so much again for donating, it’s amazing to see what small donors can do when we come together.
* LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS BELOW
Atlanta Recovery Center, Salvation army, Hope Atlanta, Someone Cares Atlanta, Covenant House, AID Atlanta, Trans Housing Atlanta Program, Atlanta Gender Explorations, Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Lagender, INC, Pink Essence, Positive Impact Health Centers, SAGE Atlanta, THEA-plus, TILTT, Trans Health Initiative at the Feminist Women’s Health Center, The Gathering Place, New Covenant Church of Atlanta, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Impact Church, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, Fulton Co. Health and Wellness, The Hope Clinic, Living Room, Mercy Care, Georgia Equality, The Health Initiative, ACLU Atlanta, Atlanta legal aid society, Transgender Health & Education Alliance, Hour of Power, S.W.I.T.C.H. Trans Support Group, North Fulton Trans Support Group, Trans n Queer group, Spark for Reproductive Justice Now, Southerners On New Ground, and Transgender Law Center.
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- Emily Boghossian
Organizer and beneficiary
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