Earlier this month, a friend of Warsaw, New York resident, Holly Todd, launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $50,000 so she may receive proper treatment against a mysterious illness she acquired on missions trip to Haiti earlier this year.
According to the campaign’s creator, Justin Jones, Holly and a team from Valley Chapel Church in Warsaw, New York built a house for a widow along with cleared land and constructed a nursery to be used in helping with reforestation efforts. While her efforts towards the Haiti community have been completely selfless, Holly picked up a mystery illness while there and has not been the same since.
Jones stated, “She is unable to eat and has been suffering through all kinds of medical testing and appointments to still be a medical mystery. Since February she has lost over 160 pounds. Holly works limited hours at the YMCA when she feels well enough. She has unfortunately had to put her first love, her photography business, on hold since she no longer can keep up with the physical demands of photo shoots and editing.
“At a time of year when we focus on giving to others, we wanted to bless our friend who has blessed so many of us. Would you consider donating so we can help our friend pay her medical bills and possibly get an appointment at the Mayo or Cleveland Clinic? Her insurance will not cover the high costs of being seen at a facility out of state but we believe they will be able to look more in depth into her condition than what she has been able to do thus far.”
Those who saw Holly’s story have helped to donate nearly $32,000 in the past 20 days. Sharing his excitement for the fundraising efforts, Jones noted, “[Holly] is so thankful to everyone for the amazing outpouring of love on her behalf. Just as an update, she did make it to Mayo Clinic today in Minnesota. She had an initial appointment with a doctor and she was thankful for the interaction she had with him. He recognized the seriousness of her disease saying that she only had months to live if this disease is not treated, made it very clear that it was not some kind of psychological problem but a disease of some kind, and started to put together a plan of action for some testing.”
However, there has been a misunderstanding about how much Holly was to pay for her testing and treatments. Jones revealed, “Unfortunately, when they went to billing, they discovered that there was a misunderstanding with costs and the money that she had would only cover tests up through Monday. So although the doctor wants to see her through January 5th, she only has the funds to get through Monday.”
Jones concluded, “You were a major part of getting her there and getting the funding to get her started in testing. We just need to pray that she can raise more money on here, find some alternate funding, or find a way to have her insurance cover some of the costs.”
Jones along with other friends continue to remain dedicated to Todd by also organizing other fundraisers. During a recent interview with The Daily News, Todd shared, “It’s shouldn’t come as a surprise that our little community has rallied so hard. We’re like a family, we’ve seen it in the past with other campaigns and fundraisers. But when that kind of love and support is shown to you, you just can’t help but become emotional. There are times in the fight that you feel so alone, and then something like this happens and you realize that there are so many friends and family – and even strangers – who are willing to do what they can, to help keep your head up.
“Never in a million years did I think I would be in a situation where I was begging for funding to save my life, and I feel very thankful that my community didn’t need that. I didn’t ask them to help, people took up the burden for me and said, ‘I’ll help you.’ It wasn’t a matter of getting on my knees to beg, our community didn’t let it get to that point before they stepped in.”
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