Wheelchair cost in Australia can be an expensive for many households with a loved one with a disability. For Josie Holdsworth and her family, a wheelchair is one of many medical expenses that pile up every month.
Although a wheelchair would better the life of Josie who was diagnosed with a rare disease called Kabuki Syndrome, paying for a new wheelchair would be financially difficult for the family. With the lack of financial support for Australians with rare diseases, their solution to finding financial assistance was through medical crowdfunding.
Josie suffers from a very rare disease known as Kabuki Syndrome. Kabuki Syndrome is a rare paediatric congenital disorder and to date Josie has had multiple surgeries to help her cope with her condition. While the Holdsworths themselves reside in Tasmania, most of Josie’s surgeries have had to be done in Melbourne, forcing her parents to travel the distance and back every time. This is one of their regular and high medical expenses.
Given the high caregiver demands for Josie, her mum, Jen Holdsworth has not been able to work as she spends all her time taking care of her daughter. Her dad, Paul, still works but would like to be more involved in his daughter’s medical needs. However, he is unable to do as much as he likes for he needs to work to meet the financial obligations of Josie’s medical needs as well as his family’s everyday needs.
As a result the family has been left with huge financial burden and feel both emotionally and financially drained. Just recently, Josie needed to have another emergency surgery done as the femur in her leg broke and did not heal properly. Once again the Holdsworths were resigned to taking their daughter to Melbourne, where the operation could be carried out.
During her stay there, Josie health declined due to blood loss and was given a number of transfusions. In addition, she also suffers from spinal and pelvic problems making it mandatory to receive a lot of orthopaedic surgery. Josie was in need of a wheelchair in order to assist in the day to day living and give her the best care.
The Holdsworths pride themselves on being a strong family unit and try to do everything together as a family. However, they have all been strained emotionally by Josie’s complicated condition and exhausted by the efforts to keep things running smoothly.
The family began looking for options to make life for Josie more comfortable at home by getting a special wheelchair available by prescription only. However the assistive device bore a heavy price tag and the family felt that waiting for government grants and funding time was just not going to cut it since Josie needed the wheelchair as soon as possible.
To make it happen, a fundraising campaign was initiated on the medical fundraising website PeoplePledge. The funds collected were to be used for the prescription wheelchair as well as a ceiling hoist that would facilitate moving Josie around the house.
With the help of online medical crowdfunding the family was able to reach their financial goals and get Josie the wheelchair she needed to help her improve her quality of life.
Why is Medical Crowdfunding is a Successful way to Fundraise Online
The idea of fundraising for medical expenses is not a new solution. In fact, many families across Australia already raise funds in their local community. With easy access to the internet however, medical crowdfunding opens up new opportunities to raise funds faster. Medical crowdfunding is a term used to describe the act of raising funds for a cause (in this case for the wheelchair cost) by crowd souring donations online.
As a greater number of people turn to medical fundraising online due to the potential donors, families are able to overcome the burden of medical expenses faster.
However, it is important to know that not all online fundraisers turn out successful and that there are certain steps that should be taken before launching an online campaign. These steps can be very helpful in ensuring that the fundraiser goes as planned and targeted amounts are met. Some of these ideas include the following:
1. Research before the launch
Just as in any other situation, it is very important to do some serious homework before launching an online campaign. Part of this is doing some thorough research related to the cause. Therefore, before doing anything else, assign some time to research on the internet for similar causes. It is worth noting what other successful fundraisers may have in common and look for cues to making the fundraiser more relatable to potential donors.
Taking it one step further, people behind successful causes may also be contacted. They can always help by supporting your cause as well as by sharing the fundraiser with their contacts. Research is also helpful in determining the audience that views and donates to similar causes as yours. It is also an effective tool to determine a time frame for achieving the projected goals.
2. Explain the medical condition in detail
Being highly familiar with the prognosis of the condition can give a particular fundraiser a huge edge over others. Being able to explain the prognosis, pathology and progression of the disease along with all or any treatment options available can make a fundraiser highly successful. These details help establish the urgency of the fundraiser and the need for quick donations.
Knowing details is important so it becomes crucial to educate yourself about the condition as much as possible. Plus, the success of crowdfunding often lies in the personal story of the fundraiser. People are more likely to donate to a cause where they can relate to a problem or connect with the individual.
Given Josie’s condition it became apparent to donors how much the prescription wheelchair would benefit her and make everyday living easier for her.
3. Personalize the fundraiser
Giving details of the medical condition is only one aspect of the scenario. While it help donors become aware of the difficulties and complications linked with the illness, putting a name, face and identity behind the cause will further reinforce potential backers. This means sharing photos, videos and posts about the fundraiser with their financial backers.
When the fundraiser is presented like a story, it becomes more real and identifiable with its supporters. Online fundraisers that use social media boast huge success as it becomes a platform to communicate regularly with the donors. Updates are easy to give on these platforms keeping visitors engaged and informed with the progress of the cause.
As a result, the more updates there are, the more awareness there is about the cause. This further goes to benefit interested parties as they have a way of knowing if their donations have indeed helped in improving the medical condition of the fundraiser.
With hard work and effort to make your medical crowdfunding campaign the best it can be, you too can experience great results in overcoming your medical expenses like Josie paying for her wheelchair cost. Find more tips and examples on our blog to help you get the right tools and have a successful campaign.