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7 Dead in Bronx Legionnaires' Outbreak

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Seven peo­ple have now died from a Legion­naires’ dis­ease out­break in the Bronx.
Accord­ing to the New York City Depart­ment of Health and Men­tal Hygiene, seven peo­ple have now died from the Bronx Legion­naires’ dis­ease outbre…

 

Why Crowdfunding for Medical Expenses Doesn't Always Work

ABC News(TACOMA, Wash.) — When Ali­cia Wheat­ley of Tacoma, Wash­ing­ton, wor­ried about how to to pay for the ongo­ing med­ical care her tod­dler needs to treat an eye dis­or­der, she found help in an unlikely place: Online crowdfunding.

Wheatley’s daugh­ter Chayla is just 2 years old and suf­fers from ambly­opia in her right eye. The dis­or­der causes decreased vision, and Chayla needs mul­ti­ple eye surg­eries to cor­rect it or she could risk going blind in the eye.

Chayla wears an eye patch to strengthen the mus­cles in her eye, but it’s only a tem­po­rary solution.

Try­ing to pay for Chayla’s surg­eries is putting the Wheat­leys in a posi­tion they never imagined.

We’re done every­thing right to get where we are, and we still can’t afford good health­care,” Wheat­ley said. “It breaks my heart.”

Her hus­band Ray Wheatley’s mil­i­tary job was cut due to a troop draw down and the family’s mil­i­tary health insur­ance, which did cover some of Chayla’s med­ical care, will run out in a mat­ter of months. His new civil­ian job pays less and what his future insur­ance will cover is uncertain.

So friends and fam­ily rec­om­mended they going online and crowd-fund to pay Chayla’s treat­ment, using the same sort of online fundrais­ers, such as GoFundMe, Kick­starter, Give­For­ward and YouCaring.com, that inven­tors, entre­pre­neurs and strug­gling film­mak­ers use to launch their projects.

So Ali­cia Wheat­ley launched an online cam­paign through a web­site called Give­For­ward, set­ting a fundrais­ing goal of $10,000 and hoped for the best.

Give­For­ward has about 14,000 med­ical fundrais­ers, most, the com­pany says, are peo­ple who actu­ally have health insur­ance but still need help pay­ing for treat­ments that aren’t cov­ered. Med­ical crowd­fund­ing has been suc­cess­ful for many fam­i­lies, and an esti­mated $2.5 bil­lion was raised in 2012, accord­ing to a report by research firm Massolution.

There have been some instances of crowd­fund­ing fraud, where peo­ple have pre­tended to be sick or mis­use the money, but Give­For­ward said those instances are rare. The com­pany said they have strin­gent secu­rity sys­tems in place to make sure those ask­ing for money are legit. But with fed­eral reg­u­la­tion still evolv­ing, experts cau­tion that con­sumers should do their research before donating.

Crowd­fund­ing has worked for other fam­i­lies in the past. Patrick and Kristin Wilkin­son of San Fran­cisco raised over $20,000 on Give­For­ward so that their 4-month-old son Phoenix could get a bone mar­row transplant.

I think the hard­est part is feel­ing help­less,” Kristin Wilkin­son said. “As par­ents you’re sup­posed to pro­tect your child, and in that sit­u­a­tion you can’t.”

Phoenix was born with Severe Com­bined Immune Defi­ciency (SCID), a rare genetic disorder.

Going undi­ag­nosed, if a child has SCID, it’s fatal,” Wilkin­son said. “As soon as they get an infec­tion… their bod­ies can’t fight it.”

Wilkin­son works for Airbnb, and her son’s Give­For­ward page was sent to the entire com­pany and it took off from there, rais­ing $20,000 in just 24 hours and over $50,000 total over 10 months.

Like Ali­cia Wheat­ley, the Wilkin­sons have health insur­ance through Kristen’s job at Airbnb, but because Phoenix’s care so time-consuming, Kristin and Patrick weren’t able to work for months, so they said the crowd­fund­ing money was much needed.

It just gives you faith in human­ity again,” Kirstin Wilkin­son said. “It was really unbe­liev­able.” But Wheatley’s online fundrais­ing for her daugh­ter was slow going. Head­ing into Chayla’s lat­est round of surg­eries, Wheat­ley had only raised $610 dol­lars. Her online social net­work is small, and for the most part, not very wealthy.

I don’t have that many friends on Face­book that’s over 30 that have…established sav­ings accounts and all that,” Ray Wheat­ley said.

With help of her tech savvy cousin, Ali­cia Wheat­ley turned to Twit­ter and Face­book, and started the hash­tag #Eyes4Chayla to try to spread the word, but it was an uphill battle.

For us small fam­ily, small net­work it’s been a strug­gle,” she said. “Social media is not con­ducive for every socioe­co­nomic walk of life.”

As of now, the Wheat­leys crowd­fund­ing cam­paign has ended. They only raised $1,390 over six months, a far cry from their $10,000 goal, but they are con­tin­u­ing to push for­ward. They have since started a new online cam­paign through YouCaring.com

For us small fam­ily, small net­work it’s been a strug­gle,” Ray Wheat­ley said. “Social media is not con­ducive for every socioe­co­nomic walk of life.”

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Hunter Hayes Sends Video Serenade to Fan with Terminal Cancer

Mat Hayward/Getty Images(HARWOOD, Md.) — Hunter Hayes recorded a spe­cial per­for­mance of his song, “Invis­i­ble,” for a fan from Mary­land he called “a rock star,” days before she died from ter­mi­nal can­cer.
Her name was Erin Cat­ter­ton and she died at 22 y…

 

Teachers and Salaried Workers Fight for Right to Pump at Work

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Teach­ers across the coun­try are advo­cat­ing for the right to pump breast milk at work.
After dis­cov­er­ing a loop­hole that leaves salaried work­ers unpro­tected under fed­eral law, teach­ers from states includ­ing Texas and Flori…

 

'Picky Eating' in Kids May Be Cause for Greater Concern

Liquidlibrary/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The prob­lems of “picky eat­ing” in kids may extend beyond the din­ner table — per­haps even to the psychiatrist’s couch, accord­ing to a new study pub­lished in Pedi­atrics Mon­day. Duke Uni­ver­sity rese…

 

Your Body: How to Keep Your Teens Safe Behind the Wheel

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Med­ical Con­trib­u­torHalf of all teens will be involved in a car crash before grad­u­at­ing from high school.And con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, teens crash most often because they are inexperienced.So, h…

 

Do Men and Women Think They Can Be ‘Just Friends’?

Hemera/Thinkstock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — The long­time debate over whether men and women can be “just friends” con­tin­ues. This time, sci­ence is weigh­ing in.Researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Alabama con­ducted a study on col­lege stu­dents a…

 

Bronzer 101: Bobbi Brown Breaks Down the Basics of Bronzer

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Bronzer is the secret for get­ting that beach-ready glow with­out soak­ing up dam­ag­ing UV rays.The look has been per­fected by A-list celebri­ties, includ­ing Jen­nifer Anis­ton, Jen­nifer Lopez and Vic­to­ria Beckham.Makeup gu…