Massage without Borders set up a fundraiser and raised approximately $8,000 towards her medical expenses. Julie's surgery went well and the tumor they biopsied came back benign. She missed two months of work but thanks to all the generous donations from everyone she now does not have the burden of debt weighing on her shoulders. Julie talked with us recently about her experience and how grateful she is for the kindness of strangers and all the help she was given through Massage Without Borders. Here's what she had to say:
How did you learn about Massage Without Borders and why did you reach out to MWB for help?
"My good friend Robin Lawder actually reached out to MWB for me. We both knew Gloria [the executive director for Massage Without Borders] and Robin contacted her the same day I found out I needed emergency brain surgery. Right before I was moved from Liberal, Kansas to Wichita for surgery I was told that they had set-up a fundraiser for me [on GoFundMe.com]."
What kind of assistance were you looking for and what were you given through MWB?
"I had no idea financially what monetary amount was needed, and I did not expect anything. What was amazing was the amount of strangers that were contributing money and reading all the well-wishes. It really made me reassess my own standards of generosity.I was blown away by all the support, and MWB raised [approx. $8,000] for me."
How has the assistance you received from MWB impacted your life?
"Hugely; I received charity from local hospitals and family, but there were still bills...the assistance I received from Massage Without Borders helped me come out even, meaning I have no debt. All that I lost was time off of work. I had never had health problems before, so I didn't know what to expect financially [for medical costs]. Seeing the hospital bills was terrifying, but having the money in the bank to pay them took a huge load off."
What has your experience made you most thankful for?
"I have lots to be thankful for! I am thankful for the generosity and kindness of strangers, for the donations and pages of comments that were all very humbling and moving to read, and of course I am thankful for being cancer-free and having my health...but most of all I am thankful for not being in debt. Thanks to MWB I don't have huge bills overhead or have to worry about declaring bankruptcy, which was a very real possibility."
Do you think Massage Without Borders is a valuable resource for our community? Why?
Yes! We all [as massage therapists] understand what it is like to have no insurance and depend on every client for your income and the financial uncertainty that comes with that. Being able to ask for prayers or energy and to read all of these well-wishes, how can you not be affected positively? The connections are also valuable; to be able to reach a lot of people instantly as a community of support. When someone is in a scary time, [a resource like this] is pretty invaluable.
Have you become a volunteer or plan to in the future?
"I definitely plan to become a volunteer, I just don't know where to start to be honest. I am trying to figure out how to volunteer my time from the middle of nowhere. Trying to figure out where I would fit [in the organization]. I want to volunteer; this all has definitely changed the way I donate and view generosity towards others. Recently I donated to Pamela Raven [another recipient of assistance from MWB] and I never would have expected to be able to be in a position where I could do that today if not for the help I received."
Anything else you would like to add?
"Overall I have been more positive since it all happened. I have been so much more grateful, holding onto that feeling in the moment of "It'll all be okay", and that is an awesome moment."
Remember, you can volunteer from anywhere! There are many things you can do from your computer just by sharing our events and website. You can help with fundraising events or schedule a small one in your local town. You can get involved in whatever capacity works for you. Contact us for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org!