25 years of Chronic Pain: How Crowdfunding for a Spinal Cord Stimulator Changed Gina’s Life

25 years of Chronic Pain: How Crowdfunding for a Spinal Cord Stimulator Changed Gina’s Life

Gina’s Story of Chronic Pain and how a Spinal Cord Stimulator Would Change her life


Gina Timms is a well-known name in the Australian country music circle. And while her audience and fans may be very familiar with her dynamic and powerful chords, not everyone may be aware that their favourite music personality has been living with the burden of excruciating chronic pain.

Back in 1989, the singer was the victim of a case of drunk driving where her stationary car was slammed in the back by that of an individual driving under influence. The result was a lifetime of acute back pain and numerous operations. Consequently Gina was also informed that she wold not be able to conceive and have any children.


Through the times of suffering and pain, Gina always relied on her passion for music to give joy to others and solace to herself. Despite the odds dictated by medical professionals, the singer was also able to have two sons whom she refers to as her two finest creations.

During her tough times, Gina has been living with a rapidly deteriorating spine and told that she is facing a life in a wheelchair. At the same time, she has seen hope in a new medical trial of the Nevro neurostimulator also known as a Spinal Cord Stimulator, an instrument that attaches to a patient’s body. The device has wires that can attach internally to the individual’s spine. The trail results have been extremely promising as after almost 25 years, Gina reports some relief in her discomfort and an improvement in her mobility.

Now Gina can be hopeful as with a permanent implant of the Spinal Cord Stimulator there is hope that it will help ease the pain of her long time injury as well as boost her mobility. She is ready to take this chance head on since she does not consider being restricted to a wheelchair bound life as an option.


However, the procedure is neither easy nor cheap and her private medical coverage only covers so much. As a result her funding fell short of $11,000. With her surgery planned for some time in early June, Gina’s friend launched an online funding page at PeoplePledge to find funds for her upcoming surgery. The fundraising campaign asked donors to pledge a $100 each or if anyone wanted to donate together and put in the amount of $50 or $25 each to make up the $100, they could do so, making the target amount infinitely achievable.

The fundraising campaign was launched on Good Friday and within a short few days, donors quickly donated over 70% of the funds needed to meet the $10,000 goal. The remaining amount was not only met by other donors but exceeded to a total of $11,410 made by 112 pledgers in all.

The successful campaign has now given Gina Timms the chance to proceed ahead with her surgery and live a pain free life, enjoying her time with her two sons and loving husband.

How to make online fundraising successful

Gina Timms’ story is just one of the many that bring out the success of online crowdfunding as a means to collect donations for a cause. Many such other campaigns are specifically created to target funds needed for medical reasons.

These campaigns help advocate the cause of an individual for a greater audience to view and contribute to. To make a successful attempt at medical crowdfunding here are a few tips to consider:

1. Setting realistic expectations

Setting up a realistic crowdfunding page is very important for garnering response. This means accurately indicating the reason for the fundraiser, the condition and medical status of the individual seeking to collect funds as well as giving a concise target amount to be collected. With these details made visible to potential donors, the cause becomes relatable to the audience who then feel more willing to contribute their help.

For the most part, most of the pledges for crowdfunding will likely come from the individual’s social network by direct outreach to their family, friends and local community. However, in the case of medical crowdfunding, much of the support can come from total strangers as well. The reason for this is that medical related issues often capture national attention fairly quickly. Since such issues often grab media attention, the cause can be easily published to more people.

2. Tapping into existing communities

Apart from messaging personal and professional contacts directly, crowdfunding can also be carried out by tapping into the existing larger community that the fundraising individual is involved in. This could expand to include anything from the local church to any other support group that the fundraiser may be a part of.

Tapping into communities may seem like a more difficult way to go when compared to online funding practices, but it is important to remember that support groups themselves work for different causes and are often very willing to work for finding donations to crowdfund campaigns for medical expenses. Getting help from community support groups also means that there are no fees attached to collecting funds, which may be the case with some online communities.

3. Personalize the experience

Invoking emotion in potential backers is another key factor governing the success of a crowdfunding medical campaign. Making the experience personal for prospective donors is a way to ensure greater backing from interested parties.
It has been recorded that people give their money to charitable causes based on their personal experiences, wanting to make a difference, being proactive about a problem or motivated by personal stands on an issue.

When a potential donor knows someone with the same condition, they will likely want to help. Likewise, others may be moved by the story, may want to change someone else’s life or have a sense of closeness to a particular community or group.

Since many of these motives have to do with emotions, it becomes important to pitch a fundraising campaign with some idea of emotional demographics. Giving donors a feeling of recognition, that they can have a chance to change someone’s life or help achieve someone’s medical goals is key to making a successful crowdfunding campaign.

As is the case with Gina Timm’s story, the medical fundraising campaign appealed to her fan base based on the joy she had brought to them despite her own time of difficulty. The love and support from family, friends and music supporters meant that Gina was able to successfully receive the surgery for the Spinal Cord Stimulator and stop her chronic pain after 25 years of suffering.