Casey McIntyre’s Viral Memorial Campaign Abolishes $44.9 Million Dollars of Medical Debt for 51,000 People in First Round of Debt Relief
The campaign, initiated by the 38-year-old mom who died of ovarian cancer, has raised over 1 million dollars that is going towards relieving medical debt
January 16, 2024 (New York, NY) – An initial $44.9 million worth of medical debt affecting about 51,000 people has been abolished using funds raised by Casey McIntrye’s Memorial & Debt Jubilee viral campaign on behalf of RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit, national charity that raises funds from donors and uses them to acquire and abolish medical debt.
Using approximately $300K of the funds raised, this first round of debt relief focuses on the Northeast where McIntyre lived and started her family. The abolished debt will impact approximately 51,000 people across nine states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. The average debt abolished is $877. Letters informing recipients of debt relief arrived over the holiday season and into the beginning of the year.
Casey Ryan McIntyre, 38, of Brooklyn, a beloved mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece, and aunt died on November 12th, 2023. In announcing her own death on her X account Casey also said “to celebrate my life, I’ve arranged to buy up others’ medical debt and then destroy the debt. I am so lucky to have had access to the best medical care at @MSKCancerCenter and am keenly aware that so many in our country don’t have access to good care,” kicking off a debt abolishment campaign which has raised over 1 million dollars towards the elimination of medical debt through RIP Medical Debt. The original goal of the fundraiser was $20,000.
“I will feel abjectly unlucky for the rest of my life that my wife Casey McIntyre was diagnosed with Stage Four Ovarian Cancer at age 34,” says McIntyre’s widow Andrew Rose Gregory. “But as we traveled together through the hellscape that is cancerworld, we realized that our medical coverage made our path so much easier than so many. Cancer patients across our nation are postponing care, refusing care, or taking on an enormous sum of medical debt because of their lack of coverage. Seeing the vast unfairness of our medical system up close, and knowing that we were lucky enough to have good coverage, is what inspired us to create a debt jubilee as part of Casey’s posthumous memorial.”
“We never imagined that the debt jubilee would raise more than a million dollars, and that Casey’s story would touch so many. When it all began, I thought about it as an opportunity for our family to destroy others’ debt, to shred a pile of awful papers. But as I’ve lived through this extraordinary, surreal experience of seeing Casey’s memorial become international news, I’ve come to see it differently. I’ve come to see it not as a destruction of debt, but as a creation of opportunity. I’ve come to see it as something that will give families a chance to find a better job, settle in a better home, buy a new car, or go out and get a degree or certification they have been dreaming of.”
RIP Medical Debt is committed to relieving people of the burden of medical debt to enhance their economic opportunities and to enable them to live healthier lives. RIP’s criteria for debt relief are those individuals who are four times or below the federal poverty level or those with medical debt that is 5% or more of their gross annual income. Medical debt relief cannot be requested and is source-based.
Since its inception in 2014, more than $10.4 billion of medical debt has been abolished, helping more than 7 million people. Medical debt often results from unplanned, unexpected illnesses and accidents. About one-third of U.S. adults have difficulty covering unexpected health care bills and there’s an estimated $195+ billion of medical debt in the U.S.
As Andrew was caring for Casey in home hospice they often listened to the Stevie Wonder song, Come Back as a Flower, ”How I wish that I could come back as a flower / come back as a flower / to spread the sweetness of love.” Andrew shares, “I told Casey that she would come back as a flower. In her debt jubilee, now I know that she truly has. I wish she could see how she has bloomed.”
Want to support more debt relief? Anyone can give to the fundraising page in memory of Casey: https://ripmedicaldebt.org/campaign/andrewrosegregory-47569/?
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