Help Kelly with Unforeseen Medical expenses

Hi everyone! It’s hard to ask for help, but sometimes I have to do hard things, HELP.

I am fundraising for unplanned medical expenses that I now have on the horizon. In the beginning of November, I was having intensifying episodes of headaches, dizziness, nausea, and high pressure “brain squeezes” which prompted me to contact my GP. After a whole line of investigative work, including multiple MRIs and tests, I was diagnosed with Chiari malformation type 1. This means that the back lower part of my brain known as the cerebellum is slightly going down in to my spine. This is causing crowding at the base of my skull which creates the unbearable pressure and relating symptoms. 

My neurosurgeon mentioned that a pressure release surgery would help with symptoms. This will allow more space for my cerebellum to be. So, on January 11 I will be having a craniotomy and laminectomy. 

I’m very hopeful for relief in the future (and of course anxious)! A top source of anxiety comes from the financial explosion that this is going to be. 

As an independent, gender affirming, hairstylist, and barber, I unfortunately don’t have the luxury of paid time off. And luckily, although I do have health insurance, the out-of-pocket is still more than I can financially sustain at $9200. It’s estimated that it will take about six weeks for me to recover, and during this time, I still owe my over head for my barbershop studio, in the form of rent $1400 a month and rent at my apartment, $1650.
After itemizing my projected financial needs it turns out to be a lot more than I have.

Asking for help is hard for me, and I’m so nervous about this whole WILD new diagnosis. My hope is that I can feel relief so I can get back to doing what I love, which is providing a safe space for LGBTQAI+ to get a great haircut, and help them feel affirmed in who they are. Also I can’t wait to go on bike rides again! I’m so appreciative of any donations, and I’m so grateful for my community during this trying time.


Kelly Hensley
San Jose, CA

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