Struggling With Medical Debt

Survival on my own as an autistic adult has frequently been difficult, and I've recently hit critical mass.  Six years out of one graduate program and two years out of another, in spite of excellent qualifications, I have not yet been fortunate enough to secure the kind of work in my field (teaching / academia) that will permit be to pay off residual debt from a preventative double mastectomy in late 2015 (many of us in my family are BRCA2 & CHEK2 positive; we have had a significant number of cancer cases on both sides). I've been able to ensure that I consistently have full-time admin work, but my salary is never high enough to let me save or reduce my debt. One of the significant reasons I’ve had difficulty paying off my debt traces back to 2016; my spouse of almost 11 years, after half a decade of turning progressively more emotionally abusive, cheated and left me for someone else — and the reason he gave was that I chose to have the preventative surgery.

Twice this year, due to the monthly amounts I pay on my student loans and the medical balance cited above, I nearly didn't make rent.  If not for the kindness of a few friends and family members, I would have been in serious trouble.  The radius in which I'm able to work, wherever I live at any given time, is limited; I have always been unable to drive due to my Autism Spectrum diagnosis and related cognitive impairment.  I have been in my current city for two years, and the transit situation here is patchy.  I have never been paid enough to accrue savings; my monthly medications and other necessary treatment are expensive even with insurance.

I firmly believe that if I can get out of medical debt, I will be able to start saving.  I have put out over 200 teaching applications in the past two years, and I continue to apply for any position for which I know I would be qualified.  I don't necessarily have the kind of so-called inspirational story that many donors like to see, but my struggle is representative of so many similar invisible ones.  My immediate to long-term survival depends on my ability to get out of debt. I have nothing to offer but gratitude and the words I put out into the world. 

I will not be sharing this on more than one or two social media platforms, so thank you for taking a moment to read.  If you wish to share my link with others, I would be fine with you doing so.  The amount of money I need is just high enough that I feel like an imposition even having set this up, but I also know that people like me often end up in dire circumstances if their situations don't improve within a reasonable amount of time.   I'll be posting regular payment screenshot updates as funds become available to me, and I’m grateful for your support!
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Organizer

A.J. Odasso 
Organizer
Albuquerque, NM
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