When I was growing up, I was no stranger to fundraisers. When I was in grade school, I sold chocolate bars for class fundraisers. Then in junior high and high school, I raised money for centers that supported pregnant women. As an adult, I raised funds for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Super Typhoon Yolanda) in the Philippines and for survivors of sexual violence in Greater Boston. This is just a sample of initiatives for which I did fundraising.Continue reading
Last Saturday, in The Stories That Don’t Make Headlines, I shared an old friend’s experience in a California ER during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today we are switching gears from the West Coast to the East Coast. I am sharing the experience of my other friend, whose office is based in New York City and who is currently working remotely.
She and I did a Q&A. After reading the transcript of it, I related to her experience in three ways:
- The stress of observing others who do not take precautions in public: As a breast cancer patient, I too get stressed when others do not practice social distancing and other recommended public health measures.
- The annoyance of not having your typical outlets for self-care: What do you do when your usual suspects for coping, relaxation, and entertainment are no longer safe? I’m still figuring that one out.
- The frustration of family planning being put on hold: Although I am not trying to have a family this minute, both cancer and this pandemic are not making it easy for me to have babies.
What part of this interview is relatable for you?
Years ago, I was cycling between unemployed and underemployed for almost a year. Grant-funded job, unemployed, part-time job, temp job. I had every job, but one that was full-time with benefits despite my best job search efforts.
During that period, I saw a therapist. When I told her that I had to stop seeing her due to financial constraints, she insisted that I pay her on a sliding scale. I did that for a while. At a certain point, I started to wonder if I could make the sliding scale payment. Then I told her that the sliding scale payment was no longer feasible; therefore, I would stop meeting with her. She replied that I could start having appointments with her without having to pay the copay.
During one of those therapy sessions, I reflected on my financial situation and wondered if I would ever end up doing a fundraiser on GoFundMe like I saw one of my former colleagues doing online. Apparently, that former colleague had hit such hard financial times that she shared her GoFundMe campaign on social media. In her post, she explained how much she had to swallow her pride to do what she needed for her family. I respected that. As I explained her situation to my therapist, I could see her eyes get wide. She looked shocked and appalled. That is when I decided to drop the topic.