Archive for the 'Medical Bills' Category

Your donations at work

Hello friends,

I’ve spent some time over the past week reconciling the donations and medical expenses. Your contributions have been extremely helpful, and as promised, have only gone to expenses related to Geraldine’s ongoing battle with this disease.

The donation tracker was a bit off from the last time that we had it live.  It had recorded about $7100 in donations directly from the site. However, after reconciling this, I found that it the actual records in Paypal added up to about $6700.  Some folks had problems with the Paypal interface and tried to donate multiple times, which inflated the numbers in the tracker by a small amount.  Paypal also charges fees for processing these transactions, so about $6500 went directly to the bank account that has been set up for this site.

Geraldine has paid around $8200 in expenses related to her treatment. However, there were also other donations that people made by check or to her family directly. These were immediately deposited into the same bank account. So, as a result of all of you who donated via the site or otherwise, her expenses have been completely covered.  I can tell you that this has been a huge relief to a woman that has been placed on disability, but would rather be working and cancer-free.

Bills are still trickling in, but there is still money left over to cover them.  There’s also a possibility that some expenses may be reimbursed by the insurance company. That money will go right back into the donation pool.

Once this process is complete and she hopefully makes the recovery that we all hope for, the remainder of any of these donations will be given to another person or group in need.

As of right now we won’t be bringing the donation utilities back online until we have some kinks worked out.  There may not be a need for further donations anyway, so if we do re-launch it, we would likely do so only to test the functionality for future cancer bloggers.

Fundraising Auction – One of a kind, handcrafted pendant

An expert jeweler has generously crafted and donated a unique piece for a fundraising auction being held on!

See info below.  This impressive pendant is going to be eligible for bids on eBay for the next 10 days. 10% of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. would like to thank the designer and crafter of the piece, Drew Weiser of Ann McKay Studio for this awesome donation.

Click here to go to the auction!

Pendant Fundraiser Auction

Pendant Fundraiser Auction

Many thanks to Wilcox Graphic Innovation for the high quality promotional poster design!

Thank you for your donations by check or bank draft!

Geraldine would like to thank the following people for their donations by check or bank draft.

  • Vanda and Paul Holik – $1000
  • Gwenole Denard – has been (and is still) donating $25 by automatic bank draft every two weeks for a while now.
  • Elisabeth Lawson – $200

Thank you very much for your support! We will try to get this added to the donation tracker on this site and have the total amount updated soon. With your contributions, and those of the generous folks who have donated through the website, the total is well over $7500 since we started this site back in August 2008! All of these donations are tax deductible, and go toward helping Geraldine with her medical bills and treatment costs.

If I have any of your names spelled wrong or missed anyone/anything, please let me know.

P.S. I am still trying to find out the post office box address that Geraldine set up before she went in for transplant. She set this up by request of some donors who wanted a place to mail checks to her for donation purposes. I hope to post this info soon.

Update: Round 3 of ICE chemo

Geraldine recently completed the third round of ICE chemo and is currently at home regaining her strength. As with the other two times, she was in the hospital for three straight days as the toxin was administered to her. It really wiped her out for a while, and she is barely back on her feet. The last time, it took her ten days to recover. There’s simply no estimate for how long this time will take, but as always, your comments here are extremely motivational to her and really aid in the recovery process.

Also, we should have news of the costs on the double autologous stem cell transplant and its uncovered costs soon. Things may begin moving fast with her treatment. We’ll keep you posted. Until then, let her know that you’re thinking about her by clicking on the comments link above.

Status report – chemo and donations

Geraldine and Vivi

Geraldine and Vivi

Geraldine is currently undergoing her third ICE chemotherapy treatment session – which lasts three days and is administered in a hospital – and is definitely feeling run down already.  She’ll be out after Thursday, and probably out of touch for a bit after that as she recovers from it.  I’ll be posting a separate update for everyone once she gets home and begins getting her strength back.

I want to thank everyone for their comments. These all mean so much to her, they keep her going when she feels alone. Please continue to leave comments whenever you can, even if you can’t donate.

Speaking of donations – wow – you guys have really blown everyone’s expectations away. Thank you for your generous contributions. All donations, no matter how small or large, are very much appreciated. At this point, we’ve raised over $4k, and still going strong.

Someone from this site will be posting more details about how the money will be spent, but I wanted everyone to know a few things about their donations. The first is that we’re trying to hire a lawyer or CPA to help us set up a non-profit organization. At this point, none of the money donated has been used for anything, and I believe the reason for this is that Geraldine wishes to make this process completely transparent to her contributors by documenting exactly what the money will be spent on.

Secondly, I’d like for everyone to know that there may be a large cost looming on the horizon for the clinical trial she is undertaking in the near future (the double autologous transplant). Part of this transplant may not be covered by the insurance company, leaving her with an approximate $50,000.00 bill.  When I have more info on this, I will let everyone know, and we will set a clear fundraising goal for this procedure.

Lastly, we’ve all decided on what will happen after she’s free and clear of cancer.  Geraldine and her friends will attempt to form an official non-profit charity to help others in their time of need. One idea that has been tossed about has been to help others that face these types of extreme illnesses. Another idea is to release the code for the donation and tracker widgets as free, open source modules so that others can use these tools for their fundraising efforts. These are just concepts at this point but it is in our plan to do something with this site and any money left over once she has won this fight.

When Geraldine can’t update you, one of us will. Please keep checking back, please keep those encouraging comments coming, and please forward this site on to others.

Thank you

Great news and thank you’s

Wow! What can I say? I am truly overwhelmed by the amount of people that have donated and left me such wonderful comments. This journey has been the most challenging experience of my life and often, I feel completely alone in this battle. Your comments bring me such comfort and strength which helps me to be strong and fight. I can not express in words how grateful I am for all of your donations. All of you have touched my life in different ways, and I thank you with all of my heart and soul for making a difference. I love you all dearly.

And now for some much needed great news. I went to the oncologist today and got my PET Scan results. The tumor in my lung has completely resolved and the tumor in my chest has greatly reduced in size. I am not in remission yet, but my cancer has responded to ICE chemotherapy treatment (finally). I will have one more round of ICE chemo before I undergo an autologous transplant. I will meet with my transplant doctors tomorrow to get all of the details. I am not out of the woods yet, but this beautiful bald b**** (BBB) is making a comeback!

Tremendous response!

Geraldine and Vivi

Geraldine and Vivi

We officially launched this site on Friday, September 17th, 2008. It was live for a few weeks before that as we worked on building out the donation and tracker modules.

In less than a week, this site has raised over $2500! 18 comments have been written on various posts.  Many emails have poured in from all over the world.  The traffic and results are more than we expected so soon after launch, but we are ecstatic about your responses.  There certainly are a lot of people moved by Geraldine’s story!

On behalf of, we’d like to thank those that have donated.  Geraldine herself has plans to write individual thank you notes to all contributors, but this may take a while.

If you haven’t donated yet, please consider doing so.  The amount truly is not what matters here.  But if you are having hard times and unable to donate, we understand…but please leave words of encouragement by commenting on any post, and please forward this site to as many people as possible.

And if anyone knows a CPA, lawyer, or business consultant that is willing to help us turn this into a non-profit organization/trust/foundation, please leave us a note by emailing info at friendsofgeraldine dot com.

Again, thank you!  You’re all wonderful!

How you can help

Geraldine and Vivi

Geraldine and Vivi

“If I can do anything…”

Since being diagnosed, Geraldine has heard these words a lot. As her friends we’re here to tell you that there is something you can do: donate.

If you’re not up to speed with what has been happening with Geraldine, you can find most of it by reading this recap from her father and other posts on this site. To sum it up, she has been fighting a very aggressive form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a blood cancer) for over a year now, and it is far from over. Ahead of her lies a transplant – either autologous stem cell (from her own cells) or allogenic bone marrow (from a donor) – more chemotherapy, and a period of constant medical care to keep her weakened immune system to from being compromised.  This period alone could last up to another year – another year without the ability to earn a steady paycheck.

To obtain the best care in the United States can cost thousands–or even millions–of dollars. In addition, many Americans lose their jobs due to the extended leave required for their recuperation. Other times, insurance companies may arbitrarily refuse treatments they deem “experimental” merely because they are costly, or will not benefit the care provider. For our friend, job loss and financial strain are already the realities of battling cancer. Your donations help to offset Geraldine’s current care and upcoming transplant, two things whose price tags have quickly slipped beyond the average person’s ability to finance.

As for the amount of your donation, it doesn’t matter; this is truly a situation where every little bit helps–ten dollars or ten-thousand dollars. If you’re uncomfortable about leaving your name, donate anonymously. Donations are quick and secure, and the proceeds directly benefit our friend and her family in this trying time.

So, by all means, keep her in your thoughts and prayers, but don’t forget that there is something you can do.

Please make a donation today.

Thank you!

Donation Tracker and Site News

We’re proud to announce that the donations page and the donation tracking page are both ready for use!

Many thanks to Pete for working through actually making the donation page work. It wasn’t an easy task, and at times was a bit frustrating, but he got it done quickly and professionally. Great work Pete!

And to Nick for making the donation tracking page work. It’s one thing to take the payments, but a different animal altogether to make those donations display for the public to see – and track. He told me today he is still working on a widget for the right rail that will show a brief overview of the total and recent donations, but for now everything is working and ready to go.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to donate!

In other site news, comments are no longer moderated since we have updated spam protection, so feel free to leave your comments – they should show up instantly.