Hi, everyone. I just wanted to share my success in fundraising with you, in the hopes that you might be able to finance or partially finance your procedure if money is an issue for you and your insurance does not cover the procedure. It’s great that more and more insurance companies seem to be covering it, in whole or in part, but unfortunately mine wasn’t one of them! I am so thankful that I was able to raise over $3,000 through my fundraiser.

I looked for advice on the Forum and found a helpful website one of the ladies shared: http://www.yourcaring.com I used this vehicle for announcing the fundraiser on Facebook and via email to friends and family who are not on Facebook. I did not give details but explained it discreetly (I’ve pasted my wording below in case anyone would like an idea – feel free to use wording from it liberally). I shared fuller details privately with closer friends – I hadn’t told many people in the 35 years that I had suffered from vaginismus. I’m sure that is the case with many of us.

I told folks that although the website does not charge a fee, PayPal does charge a small fee (about 3%), and if they wanted to send a check to let me know and I would send them my mailing address. Luckily, most people did this. Although, it was really useful for my friends who don’t live in the U.S. to give through the site, and there are always people who prefer to just put it on their credit card. The site really allows you to tell your story and is a good way to spread the word about your fundraiser.

Please note that some people thought this was a scam and either called or emailed me to ask. I answered them and then posted to FB and followed up my email stating that some people had asked me about that and I confirmed it was me and it was real. In this case, I really do think a photo would help (although I had used one and still got questions, I’m sure my request would have been largely ignored without my photo there.)

I re-posted and re-emailed a few times over a 9-week period with a few new words on top – an update on the fundraiser, a thank you to those who already gave, a statement that if you still want to give here is the info – and that helped remind people. I thanked everyone immediately as their donations came in on YourCaring or by check and sent a thank you email to the group who supported me with donations and prayers after I came back from NH and could share how well everything went, asking for continued prayers during the year-long physical therapy.
I hope this might help some of you reading this. Good luck! By the way, the procedure was an astounding success, and I am amazed how well the self-dilating is going (I was petrified of this beforehand, but it is going great!)

Here is what I wrote on my fundraising page:

“Dear Friends and Family,

This is normally close to the time of year when I have an annual fundraiser to support a favorite charity. As funny as this feels, this year I am asking you to help me. There is a medical procedure that will make a big difference in my life. It’s very sensitive and deeply personal, so I won’t go into details.
It is for a condition that has not been well studied until very recently, and there is just one doctor who performs this treatment program, which he pioneered, and his offices are located in New Hampshire. He is well-reputed and recognized and has done thorough research and carried out studies on this treatment. He has treated hundreds of people over the past several years, with over a 90% success rate. Unfortunately, my insurance will not cover this procedure because they still consider it experimental, and this doctor is retiring this summer. In addition, I have been unable to work and will be unable to do so in the foreseeable future due to a disability (which is why I’ve temporarily moved back home to recuperate physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially).

I am hoping to have the procedure done in May in New Hampshire and would appreciate any help you can give as I try to finance the $6,000 procedure and associated travel and accommodation costs (I need to stay there several days).

Note that giving through this website, which is via PayPal, shaves 3% off your donation, so contact me if you can send a check instead.

Thanks for considering this request, and prayers and positive wishes are also needed and welcome.

All the best,