Skye Vang's Top Surgery

Everyone deserves to live in a body that is authentic and genuine to themselves. For Skye’s 26th birthday, we are hoping to raise $11,000 in order for them to have top surgery. They have never celebrated or planned a birthday party in their life, so let’s celebrate them by allowing them to live their best life. Our quality of life includes living in a body that best validates who we are as well as having access to resources that can support us in doing so.

Current Situation:

        Skye is currently receiving health insurance from their mother’s insurance plan; but since they are turning 26, they will lose health care coverage the day after their 26th birthday (June 29, 2018). Their health insurance plan ends as effective of June 30th, 2018. Under the current Medicare laws,  Skye will not be able to apply for MNsure until November and won’t be insured until the start of 2019. Skye has been thinking of this for over 7 years; and through this they have done a lot of soul searching, building community, learning to love one’s self, and honoring one’s self. Recently, they’ve finally made the decision to have top surgery.

Top Surgery Details:

Top surgery with Dr. Daniel A. Medalie, M.D. 
at Cleveland Plastic Surgery in Beachwood, OH

$6,700 - 7,700 - includes surgeon fee, anesthesia fee, and facility fee
$800 - 900 - 1 week stay in town after surgery at hotel/airbnb
$300 - 400 - plane ticket
$600 - 1200 - rent because I will be out of work
$350 - other bills (ie car insurance, electricity, renter’s insurance, phone bill, etc)
$200 - groceries and other expenses

$11,000 total. 

How we can get there?

        We are fundraising $11,000 to cover the cost of the top surgery, pre-operation costs, post-operation costs, lab work, medications, medical supplies, transportation to and from appointments, downtime to recover and heal, and other unexpected needs that Skye may encounter.Top surgery is a very serious operation and we want to support Skye the way they have supported many Twin Cities communities over the years.
        The ways that we plan to keep Skye’s costs down – other than this fundraiser – is having family and close friends provide physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual support for them. For example, providing transportation, providing needs for the surgeries before- and after-care needs, and much more. Whether you’re willing to donate $500 or $5, any amount truly helps. We hope that folks can contribute an amount that feels good for them. We know that our community is strong, resourceful, and interdependent. Supporting this fundraiser would allow our immediate community to support a local activist and community leader. This is also because is extremely important. 

Who is Skye Vang? 

        Skye works for Cycle’s For Change (whose focus is to uplift and center Black, Indigenous, and people of color; immigrants and refugees; women, trans, femme, and gender-nonconforming peoples; and youth through building a diverse and empowered community of bicyclists) as a Program Coordinator; they coordinate community bicycle rides highlighting St. Paul with over 200 individuals every year. In previous years, Skye has curated artists and performers for Reclaim’s “Art Heals” 2017 fundraiser, worked at and served on the leadership team at Shades of Yellow, spoke as a panelist for OutFront MN’s 2016 Youth Summit, participated in the Hmong Minnesota Leadership Conference 2016 and Creating Change 2016. Skye has also co-facilitated trainings and workshops throughout the previous years surrounding race, gender, and sexuality. They have also been a part of various actions throughout the Twin Cities for the liberation of marginalized communities.

        Supporting Skye in having this surgery would allow them to continue their leadership role in an organization that deeply believes in physical health and building community. This fundraiser is more than just raising money for an individual; it goes to supporting a leader who has an important role in our community.

        Again, the goal is to allow Skye to live their honest truth because everyone deserves to live in a body that is authentic and genuine. When we invest in our leaders, we invest in our communities; together we can continue to honor self-love, self-care, and self-liberation.

Skye Vang's Personal Bio: 

        As the eldest of 5 children and the second eldest of 30+ grandchildren, I have been gifted the responsibility of being a role model. I have been blessed with parents and a family that loves, accepts, and supports who I am - and that, in itself is a privilege. With this privilege, I have been given the opportunity to show by example, what it looks like to be allowed to be my whole self. I truly believe that when we are allowed to show up as our whole selves, we radiate light and energy, and we encourage others that they can as well. I am proof we exist, we are loved, and we thrive contrary to what is told about us.
I hope that my experience will encourage folks who are struggling with their gender identity and body dysphoria to live their truth and come a step closer to their fullest self.

        Please help us support Skye Vang in celebrating their 26th birthday, but most importantly: let’s celebrate the first birthday where they can truly live in a body that they identify with.

Ps. Here's another cute photo of Skye Vang. 

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Organizer and beneficiary

Paying Yang 
St. Paul, MN
Skye Vang 
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