All-Inclusive Surgery Recovery

$2,495 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 28 months
On May 31, 2016, I had forearm phalloplasty in Chicago, IL. I knew it would be a hard surgery, but nothing could have truly prepared me for how difficult it really is. I stayed in the ICU for almost 6 days, and then they brought me up to the 8th floor at Weiss Hospital, to a room with a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. For the first time in almost a week, I saw sunlight. I laid in my bed, basking in the light, and very suddenly, I received a calling. The calling was clear: I need to help other people going through this surgery. I need to move to Chicago, get an apartment, and open my home to others who are going through this. It would be an all-inclusive apartment stay, including transportation to and from the airport and hospital, support from a fellow person who has been through the surgery while in and out of the hospital, home-cooked meals that meet your dietary needs, and a comfortable place with Wifi and an Apple TV for entertainment during recovery. The apartment would also have a completely stocked surgical supply closet so that folks don't have to worry about purchasing and traveling with surgical supplies.  

I thought about it for a couple of days, as if it were this crazy dream that would be really awesome to do. But these thoughts became serious, and I realized that this was a calling I cannot ignore. I talked to a handful of people who were incredibly excited about the possibility of a place like this, and received feedback that this is a much needed service in our community, because so many people cannot access this surgery due to lodging costs alone, or due to not having support and aftercare. These are extremely prohibitive barriers, and Rhys's Place could help people break down these barriers and access the care they desperately need. 

So I am moving to Chicago. This is a wild, awesome adventure – but I need your help to create Rhys's Place and help others through one of the most vulnerable times in their life with respect, dignity, and compassion. 

The $25,000 goal will fund Rhys's Place for the first year it exists. Immediately upon opening my doors to the very first person coming to stay, I will begin doing tee-shirt boosters, networking to find sponsors, and leaving a donate button on the Rhys's Place website so that others can contribute as they feel comfortable. I will be transferring with my job to a Chicago location, and will be building my photography clientele and using any money I make from that to sustain Rhys's Place in the future. Rhys's Place will be sliding scale, so some of the people that stay with me will pay the suggested rate, and some people will be unable to. Between the people that are able to pay a suggested rate (still much lower than a hotel), tee shirt boosters, community contributions, and my photography work, this will hopefully be the only large fundraiser I will need to do, as Rhys's Place will be sustained in the future by those things. 

What is Rhys's Place?

Rhys's Place is (will be) Rhys's apartment in Chicago. It is my home, which I am opening to other Trans folks having surgery in Chicago. It is a place where you can stay for a low or no cost, and also receive assistance through your surgery journey.

What services can I receive at Rhys's Place?

When you stay at my apartment for your surgery, you will find everything you need so that you don't have to worry about purchasing and flying/traveling with surgical supplies and other supplies you might need during your surgery.

You will be able to receive these services:

• Transportation to and from the airport (must arrange times before booking flights)
• Transportation to and from your surgery
• Transportation to and from consults (must plan ahead)
• A caring person to go with you to your surgery if you don't have someone with you
• A caring person who can be there throughout your surgery process so you don't need to be alone; someone to come visit you in the hospital
• Emotional support and practical knowledge from another person who has been through surgery myself
• A fully stocked surgical supply closet so you don't need to purchase or fly with surgical and medical supplies, including required bowel prep supplies
• A comfortable apartment in which you can recover after released from the hospital
• Nutritious and delicious meals prepared for you by Rhys that meet your dietary needs
• High speed internet and Apple TV with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO
• Fully accessible and comfortable apartment space with recliner

*Disclaimer: While I do have a large familial medical background and quite a bit of medical knowledge, it is imperative to know that I am NOT a trained or licensed medical professional, and I cannot give you medical advice. You should always follow the advice and directives given by your surgeon and medical providers. I know it can be scary for some people to reach out to their providers, and I can help support and encourage you in doing that. I will be available to help get you to any follow up appointments or urgent care if needed as you work with your providers to manage your follow up care. Always follow the advice and directives of your medical providers.

Thank you for reading this and learning more about Rhys's Place and my mission. Please support this mission so that I can help others through a very vulnerable time in their lives, and I can help care for them with respect, dignity, and compassion. 

Thank you for your support. 
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Wow! We are now at $1725!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

Friends, we did this together. YOU did this! And I cannot thank you enough, truly.

We are so close to hitting $2,000. Would you consider reaching out directly to 3 friends, just 3, and asking them to support this mission?

Other ways you can get involved are by holding fundraisers in your community. Have a potluck dinner with a suggested donation. Collect cans if you live in a state that pays for recycling. Any ways you can think of to generate not only financial contributions but also community engagement are encouraged!

I am also looking to pinpoint a couple of major contributors of $5,000 and higher. If you know any philanthropic folks in your community, please take a moment to talk to them and tell them about what Rhys's Place will do for the community.

Next steps: when we meet 50% of the fundraiser, which is $10,000, I will be securing the apartment and signing a lease, and moving into the apartment. But the more we raise, the better, because in order to transfer my job to Chicago, I'm going to lose my full time status and only be working part time as there are no full time positions open at this time.

Thank you SO much again for your support, and let's keep this thing going!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Cheers,
Rhys
rhyssplace@gmail.com
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Tammy Keeler
27 months ago
1
1

Wow!! What you will be doing to help others is amazing & wonderful...I wish I could hug you!!

+ Read More
Sarah Tusing
27 months ago

Will this just be for bottom surgery recovery or top as well?

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$2,495 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 28 months
Created June 24, 2016
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HG
$50
Hana Greer
26 months ago

Happy birthday, Hank!

$10
cris maryhill
27 months ago

hanks birthday beer challenge answered. and i dont even drink

KT
$50
Kevin Travers
27 months ago

It is a great idea, and so generous of you to think of helping others in this way. Good luck with your transition.

DB
$50
Deanna Blair
27 months ago

Such a great idea. Much love to you.

$50
Anonymous
27 months ago
PB
$30
Paul Barfoot
27 months ago

You make the world a better place

KD
$100
Kevin Dahnert
27 months ago

Welcome to Chicagoland from up in Lake County! This is a fantastic service to offer and I know it will succeed.

JL
$50
Jenny Lewis
27 months ago

So much ugliness in the world today--thank you for the opportunity to help you do something good.

Tammy Keeler
27 months ago
1
1

Wow!! What you will be doing to help others is amazing & wonderful...I wish I could hug you!!

+ Read More
Sarah Tusing
27 months ago

Will this just be for bottom surgery recovery or top as well?

+ Read More
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