Help Kathryn Get Surgery

After Helping Countless Others, Kathryn Needs Our Help

This is an appeal to friends, students and colleagues whose lives have been touched by Dr. Kathryn McMahon, Founder and President Emeritas of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking,
CAST, ( and Faculty Emeritas of the Women’s Studies Department at Cal State Long Beach. We, the undersigned, invite you to join us in supporting Kathryn now, at a time when she truly needs our financial help.

Some of you are aware of Kathryn’s highly complicated medical situation. A car accident in 1987 left her in continuous back pain, and in the past few years, she has suffered with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and severe nerve pain. For many years, she has struggled with IBS and debilitating stomach pain. In addition to extreme pain, her body is not able to absorb nutrients and she has become quite frail. 

Now she needs major surgery. After her hospitalization she will require extensive home care and assistance with basic household maintenance for several months while she recovers. During her recovery she is at risk of falling if left unattended.

Kathryn needs our help. Although she has health insurance, her medical costs are astronomically high, and have depleted her savings. Like other activists and academics, she does not have enough savings to cover the cost of home health care and assistance that will be necessary while she recuperates. Additional funds needed include an adjustable hospital bed ($2,000), cleaning, organizing and preparing her home before surgery ($1,000), home health aid recovery care for 3 months (about $16,000), weekly medical laundry and house care for 3 months ($2,500), insurance co-pays and other medical expenses (about $10,000), medical transportation costs ($6,000). We hope to raise the full $37,500 by May 1, 2018.

Those who know Kathryn recognize her as a fierce advocate, a deeply intelligent and loving friend and a compassionate and gifted teacher. Born in Washington state, she earned her PhD while raising her beloved son Tim, who died of Crohn's disease as a young man. As faculty of the Women’s Studies Department at Cal State Long Beach for over 20 years, she worked tirelessly to organize events for students and local community members and touched the lives of many. During the Vietnam embargo Kathryn began reconciliation work and led several of the first delegations to Vietnam
with women artists, professors and community leaders following the war. Her research on human trafficking led to the founding of CAST, the first US organization caring for victims of human trafficking in the US. Since 1998, she has traveled around the world speaking out against human trafficking and advocating for survivors. While no longer able to travel, Kathryn is a talented writing coach and attentive editor.

We, Nancy Buchanan, Pam Cohen, Karen Neubert, Ken Cowan, and Billi Romain are raising funds on Kathryn’s behalf. We hope Kathryn’s good friends will spread the word about our campaign to support her in this intensely difficult time. Please share this fundraiser widely within your own networks.

(GoFundMe takes 5% of the funds raised, but the rest goes directly to Kathryn. Anyone in the U.S., Canada, France and other European countries can donate via GoFundMe. If you live someplace where GoFundMe is not accessible and you’d like to make a donation, please contact me by leaving a message here, and we can make other arrangements.)


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Billi Romain 
Berkeley, CA
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