By Tatyana Kapkan, a guest contributor for CrowdClan and an Online Marketing Expert for FundRazr, Canada’s largest crowdfunding platform with deep social media integration. She is passionate about crowdfunding and coaching customers to help their fundraising campaigns succeed.

In the U.S., the land that lags behind its First-World peers in health care by virtually all standards, including cost, Americans often need to dig into their own pockets to fund what’s an undeniable human right.

A full 37 percent of them actually chose to sidestep a doctor’s visit or neglected to fill prescriptions in the past year because they couldn’t cover the cost, says the same research, which derives from an international survey released in late 2013 by the Commonwealth Fund. And a 2011 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that half of American adults couldn’t come up with two grand if suddenly faced with a medical emergency.

But life regularly delivers unfortunate blows to the fragile human condition, and those blows frequently arrive in the company of a bill.

Take the average cancer patient in the States, whose out-of-pocket medical expenses, even with health insurance, average $712 per month (according to Dr. Yousuf Zafar, who conducts research on cancer patients’ medical bills for the Duke University Health System in Durham, NC). It’s no wonder a 2012 American Journal of Medicine study found that 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were tied to medical expenses.

Enter crowdfunding. A booming niche in the U.S. economy, this tool for raising money through mass electronic appeal has every bit the viability for folks facing unexpected health-care expenses as it does for those funding avant-garde film projects and fledgling inventions.

All a person needs to launch a crowdfunding initiative is access to a professional hosting platform, like FundRazr. They oversee the campaign, its dissemination among other social media vehicles and the collection of money. Easy peasy.

It’s a lesson the loved ones of 12-year-old Ava have gratefully learned over the past summer. On June 9, they launched a crowdfunding campaign for this brave Ottawa youngster who’s battling cancer, and her single mum, Nicole, who took a leave of absence, and was ultimately “released,” from, her job, to care for her child.

“Asking for financial help is a humbling experience,” Ava’s Fundrazr page explains, giving voice to a concern many crowdfunding participants no doubt struggle with. “But it’s at these times where family, friends and the community can make a huge difference.”

Just two days from the stated end of the campaign, “Team Br-Ava” had reached 70 percent of its $25,000 goal, and the money was still pouring in. Alongside photos of the beautiful girl, a heart-shaped bandage holding a tube in her nose, the update message thanks donors for their generosity, and extends the request for contributions.

“Thanks again for the kind thoughts and positive energy,” the campaign’s organizer says, getting to the heart of a crowdfunding campaign’s most essential power. “It’s making a huge difference.”

What do you think the idea of crowdfunding medical expenses?

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