Danni's Top Surgery Fund

My name is Danni, and I began medically transitioning as a nonbinary transmasculine person earlier this year. The next step in my transition is top surgery. The idea of top surgery has always been terrifying to me, as I have never had surgery before and I have an irrational fear about general anesthesia.  It also requires a lot of money and time off from school, so I was never sure that I would be able to make it work. But I have finally been able to get around those fears because I know how much top surgery would change the way that I view my body.

I have struggled with my body and with my identity for many years. Growing up as a “tomboy”, my issues arose when I entered my teens and was faced with the societal pressure of “being a girl.” During my high school years, I struggled with depression and with an eating disorder, as my only desire was to make myself small and unseen.

I tried for years to fit in, to present myself as a “typical female,” and yet my mental illness only got worse. When I finally came out as queer, I began to slowly express myself in the way that I wanted to- cutting my hair short and dressing more androgynous. As I became more familiar with the queer community, my identity began to make sense. I learned about nonbinary and trans identities, and I finally understood why I longed to have a gender neutral name. I bought a cheap binder and put on a polo shirt, and I looked amazing- seeing myself with a flat chest for the first time was unbelievable (yes, I remember where I went and what I was wearing the first time I went out in public wearing a binder).

Sometimes now, I can even look in the mirror and feel sexy. This new confidence and comfort that I have found with my body will be complete once I have top surgery. Even though I can wear a binder for the time being, it is a very uncomfortable way to dress on a daily basis. Therefore, I struggle between wanting to bind every day, and wanting to be able to breathe comfortably.

$7000 is a low estimate for the cost of my top surgery. It will likely cost more than that, depending on the surgeon that I choose. Currently, I am considering having surgery with Dr. Medalie in Cleveland, and his surgery quote was $7177. I will also need to rent a hotel room after surgery so that I can recover (typically people stay in the area of their surgeon for about a week) and I will need to pay for transportation. I am hoping to have top surgery in early 2019, when I am able to take a few weeks off from school.

If you do not know me, I am hugely in debt from veterinary school. I am on government assistance programs, and my funds are extremely limited. However, I will do whatever it takes to make this surgery happen- my last resort will be to pay for this surgery by taking out additional student loans. Any donations are greatly appreciated-  and if you come find me in a few years, I promise I will spay or neuter your animal for free once I am a VMD.
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Danni Mitchell 
Philadelphia, PA
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