Has your life been turned upside down as a result of a health issue? If so, you may be able to help us and we may be able to help you. Grace Approved raises funds through its crowdfunding project, Grace Grants, which it then disperses to folks who’ve had their lives and finances disrupted by sickness.

In addition to providing no-strings-attached grants to help those who’ve encountered financial hardship due to health problems, Grace Grants is a grassroots project aimed at legislative reform of the doctor-patient relationship (https://blogs.webmd.com/health-reform-101/2012/01/what-to-do-when-your-medical-records-are-wrong.html; https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shouldnt-hard-patients-correct-medical-record.html).

Grace is defined as a blessing or kindness and sharing a blessing or kindness with folks who’ve undergone hardship due to health issues and medical expenses is precisely the mission of Grace Approved. It is based on a belief in human kindness and kinship, along with a conviction that small donations can transform the world. For example, if just one million people shared $1 it would provide $1,000 to one thousand people, which is the initial objective.

For more information about Grace Grants, please visit https://www.plumfund.com/crowdfunding/grace-grants. To apply for a grant, please send a brief letter, along with verification such as a document showing a diagnosis or a medical bill, etc. to sharon@graceapprovedgrants.com (please expunge any personal information such as SS#, account information, etc). A response will be sent as soon as possible to each contact and funds will be dispersed promptly, as they are received. Updates will be available on this site and full accountability is assured.

I will be providing more detail in the upcoming days about my own experience, but for now I will just give a brief summary of what led me to found Grace Approved and Grace Grants.

  • In the summer of 2012, I first began seeing a doctor for a lesion which had opened on my jaw near my chin. I was given an antibiotic prescription.
  • For two years, I was prescribed numerous antibiotics, all of which failed to heal the lesions (during this time it developed into bilateral lesions which progressed along my jawline). I went, on my own, to community blood screenings and had the results sent to my doctor. The tests showed significant anemia and related issues and when I asked the doctor about it he said those results are common for a woman in her late 40s. It was at this point (I learned later when I obtained my records from this medical office) that the doctor noted that he performed a pap smear, although he didn’t. Of course, there was no results and no more mention of this procedure. There was additional false information in the records.
  • In August, 2014, after six months on ciprofloxacin, I asked for a referral to a specialist. The lesions tested positive for MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
  • With worsening symptoms and conscious of the infectious nature of my diagnosis, I was forced to leave my job at our county newspaper, where I had worked 10 years and advanced from a news reporter to editor.
    After my unemployment claim was approved for the ‘necessitous and compelling’ nature of my resignation, my former employer challenged the approval, saying I hadn’t made sufficient effort to maintain my employment, although he had told me they thought it was best I take some time to heal and offered no response to my request for work I could do from home.
  • After seeing a new primary physician and being referred for treatment of severe anemia, I was scheduled for a total hysterectomy due to fibroid tumors the size of a five-month pregnancy.
  • After surgery, my doctor said my red cell count was so low he was surprised to see me walking around my room. Typically, he said, someone in my condition would be bedridden but added that one’s body could adapt, in time, to depleted blood levels.
  • Over the next two years, I regained my health and the lesions on my face gradually healed, although the scarring was slow to improve and nearly as painful as the infection. To avoid having to interview for jobs with such an obvious and disfiguring medical situation, I obtained a notary commission and completed the process for a contract to be an agent of my state’s motor vehicle bureau. I now work from an office at my home and recently entered into a contract to be a Uhaul dealer in an effort to supplement my income.
  • Upon requesting my medical and hospital records (for the surgery), I learned that records cost between $1 and $1.60 a page, with prices at the upper end for the first 50 or 60 pages and diminishing for additional pages. I was unable to find out how many pages my records would require, but did learn that the nurses’ notes alone ran about 40 pages (I had a serious reaction to an IV pain medication the first night after surgery, which was part of the reason for wishing to obtain my records). I was told there is no way to know which pages might contain information I would want and which might be, for example, copies of consent forms, and since I’m not in a position to spend possibly hundreds of dollars, I was unable to get these records.
  • Without the financial help of my family during this time, I would certainly have lost my home as I was without any income for two years. My income at the newspaper was enough to live paycheck to paycheck (I started at $18,000 a year in 2007, then increased to $20,000, then $22,000, then $30,000 a year for the last two years I was there, during which time I tried to pay off debt accrued during the previous years), but not enough to have any reserves.

I suspect there are others out there who have similar stories. These are exactly the folks for whom this program was designed. We look forward to hearing from you.

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