Hey there friends and family! I appreciate you visiting my fundraising page. As most of you are aware, I have come out as trans to my various groups (family, friends, work, etc) over the last year or so. A big part of my transition has been working towards alignment of body and mind, and the next big milestone I am marching towards is my top surgery.
For those that are squeamish, I won’t put the details of what that entails here. But for those interested in learning more about what top surgery is, check out this page.
My surgery date is scheduled for December 4th, 2018 and as you can imagine, I am equal parts nervous and excited. This is a major surgery that will take time to recover from. It’s invasive and will initially limit my movement and in particular, my arm reach, for some time. But in the end, once I have healed up and returned to my normal activities, it will mean a significant upgrade in my quality of life in so many ways. (No more binders causing me summertime heat exhaustion in humid Atlanta, for starters!)
Sadly, insurance won’t cover my medical costs for this procedure. Though my company’s insurance plan technically provides coverage as many gender affirming procedures are now (rightfully) considered medically necessary, very few experienced surgeons offering this procedure have in-network relationships with insurance companies. And my out of network deductible is high enough that it won’t cover any of my costs. Too many surgeons (in-network or otherwise) are offering this surgery as a side gig, are inexperienced, have track records of complications, or end up having patients that require revision after revision further down the road. After a great deal of research, the surgeon I have chosen specializes in gender affirming top surgery for FTM and non-binary identified patients, has an excellent track record for great results and minimal complications, and has been perfecting the procedure for well over a decade. This surgery is too important to trust in the hands of anyone else.
Choosing a surgeon that isn’t in-network with my insurance company still wasn’t an easy decision, however. The cost for this procedure coupled with the expense of travel to south Florida (I have to stay there for a little over a week) means I will need to anticipate a total cost of a little over $10,000.
Here’s how it all breaks down:
Double Incision Top Surgery - $6,500
Hospital Anesthesia Fee - $1,900
Routine Pathology Tissue Exam - $300
Medication - I’m not sure, but I’m thinking insurance will cover some or all of this (yay!)
Possible Hospital Facilities Fee - $200-$300 for every 30 minutes beyond the scheduled 120 minute operating room time
Surgery ~ $8,700+
Travel - $200 gas round trip
Board for 9 or 10 days - $1500 (I have to stay in town for a little more than a week)
Total - approximately $10,400
That’s a whole lot of money. So I’m humbling myself, swallowing my pride, and asking my community for help to get me there.
For those of you who are local to me, I am also in the process of planning a FUNdraiser that will be a way for us to come together, celebrate, and have a good time - so stay tuned for that because it is going to be a lot of fun. In the meantime, I’m trying to get a jumpstart on raising funds now so that I have plenty of time to try and hit my goal prior to surgery.
- What happens to the funds if you don’t reach your goal?
If I don’t reach my full goal, the funds you donate will be applied directly to my surgery costs. Thank you so much for donating!
- What happens to the funds if you exceed your goal?
If by some magic I manage to raise more than the cost of surgery, I will be donating the remainder of the money to Point of Pride, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does great work for trans* identified people around the world. Wow!
- When will you be throwing your fundraiser party?
Stay tuned, this one is in the works!
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your time and consideration. I am so grateful for every person who has been a part of my support system, particularly over the last few years. That support has come in many forms and I have been so appreciative of all of it.
- Erin Watters
- Zachery Gaskins
- Tracey Steinrucken
- Alexander Eberhart
- Natalie Pace
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