A cancer patient’s passing helps to eliminate millions of dollars in medical debt.

A woman from New York City passed away on Sunday due to cancer, but her posthumous plea for assistance has been successful in raising funds to eliminate millions of dollars worth of medical debt.

Casey McIntyre’s husband shared a social media post where she announced her plan to purchase the medical debts of others as a way of commemorating her life.

McIntyre posted on X, previously referred to as Twitter, stating that “if you are seeing this, it means I have passed away.”

“I cherished and cared for all of you wholeheartedly and I want you to know that I was fully aware of the depth of your love,” stated the 38-year-old. The posts also featured a link to a fundraiser created by the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt.

Andrew Rose Gregory, the spouse of McIntyre, shared the messages on Tuesday. The campaign exceeded its initial goal of $20,000 in a short amount of time. As of Friday afternoon, it had accumulated approximately $140,000, which is equivalent to purchasing $14 million in medical debt.

According to Gregory, his wife’s health insurance was excellent and she received exceptional treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. However, they were still surprised by the high costs listed on the paperwork for her care, which he described as “terrifying.”

“Casey and I found common ground in the fact that there are effective cancer treatments available, but unfortunately, not everyone can afford them,” he stated. “Rather than focusing solely on finding a cure for cancer, why not also prioritize helping those who are burdened by overwhelming medical expenses?”

In the American healthcare system, patients may accumulate large expenses that can lead to debt, even if they are insured. This is particularly common for individuals who require hospitalization or ongoing treatment and medication for chronic health conditions.

A recent study conducted by the nonprofit KFF using government data from 2022 suggests that around 10% of American adults have medical debt of at least $250. This amounts to approximately 23 million individuals, of which 11 million owe over $2,000.

“RIP Medical Debt eliminates debt acquired from hospitals, healthcare providers, and the secondary debt market. It acquires large amounts of debt at a significantly reduced cost compared to its original value.”

According to the organization’s spokesperson, Daniel Lempert, every dollar contributed to the nonprofit can alleviate approximately $100 of debt, with a focus on assisting individuals from lower income backgrounds. Lempert also stated that the organization has never initiated a campaign that involves posthumous planning.

In 2019, McIntyre, a book publisher, began receiving medical care for ovarian cancer. According to her husband, she spent approximately three months hospitalized within the past year.

After nearly losing her life in May, the Brooklyn couple began organizing a memorial and debt-relief campaign. Their motivation came from a viral video showing North Carolina church members burning $3 million worth of medical debt.

Gregory refers to the past five months that McIntyre spent in home hospice care as a special and unexpected summer. During this time, she was able to go on trips to the beach and enjoy quality time with their family, which includes their 18-month-old daughter, Grace.

“Towards the end of her life, Casey was extremely ill and unable to complete all of her goals,” stated Gregory. “However, I was aware of her desire to organize a memorial and debt forgiveness. Therefore, I arranged and executed it in a way that I believe she would have approved.”


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