This discomfort isn't a new feeling in my body, just a new concept that I've been forced to put words to. Previously, I didn't think I really had any options. I didn't think that something like top surgery could even be a possibility for me. I didn't think I would be able to afford it, I didn't think I could get the time off work, and in my brain, I didn't think I was "trans enough." I'm beginning to listen to my partner and friends about how I tend to advocate for other people a helluva lot more than myself.
With lots of research, an accidental phone call, and the best community of all time, I made an appointment to get top surgery on May 1st this year! I still can't believe it's really happening! The appointment's been made, my job has been nothing but supportive, and now it's just time to continue saving and raising money to cover the costs of my surgery, after-care, and time off work. You never think it could be possible, and then BOOM! The day to becoming more of your true self gets closer and closer. Yikes!
I scheduled top surgery with Dr. Garramone in Ft Lauderdale. After lots of research, we discovered that he's one of the best! I know folx who I trust immensely that have personally been to him and vouch for his impeccable expertise. After years and years of some terrible experiences with doctors, this is really important to me.
Unfortunately, there are tons of costs involved in getting top surgery!!! And as you may think, insurance hardly covers any if it.
Here's what those costs look like for me:
- Surgery fees: $6,700. This includes the actual surgery, anesthesia, and post-op care.
- Pre-surgery Therapy: $600. It's required that you see a therapist before getting top surgery. I recently got all of my therapy covered by insurance, which is great! Unfortunately, it wasn't covered initially. I feel super privileged to be able to continue going to therapy each week. (My therapist is the best!!!!!)
- Flight to Florida for 2: $230. (Justyn, my amazing partner, will be coming with me to help take care of me, give me coffe through a straw, feed me sandwiches, move my game peices, and press play on Netflix)
- Rental Car: $150 (for the whole week in Ft Lauderdale, for transportation to/from surgery, etc.)
- Airbnb: $750
- Total: $7,830
That's not even including - Food for the 10 days we will be recovering in Florida, loss of wages from my full time job as well as time away from the music/ social justice after school program I run (Shout out to GR!DC!!!) (DEF going to miss the kiddos immensely!!!), and the insane boredom, whining , and effort my lovely partner, Justyn, will have to endure while she takes on the arduous role of caretaker.
I feel weird about making a fundraising page and asking for money, BUT people keep asking how they can help, and this would be super amazing. Like, more than I can imagine. To feel comfortable in my body for the first time isn't a concept I can even fathom right now. But, there are lots of ways you can help support me...
Things that would be helpful:
- any extra dollars you can spare (check out the awesome trades I'm offering below!)
- letters/hand drawn comics to read while I'm stuck in bed
- recordings of you playing songs since I won't be able to lift my arms to play my own guitar for many weeks
- suggestions and anecdotes from you or someoone you know's experiences with top surgery
- your support (this includes hugs, jokes, and pictures of puppies, kitties, and other animal babes)!!!
Thanks so much for reading this and being a part of this amazing journey with me!
- Stephanie Hulbert
- Amy Sample Ward
- Jennifer DelPonte
- Rebecca Anderson
Organizer and beneficiary
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