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Kickstarter, a website that people use to raise money for different projects, is helping people better their lives. Living organ donors are improving the quality of life for organ recipients after Sigrid Fry-Revere started the American Living Organ Donor Fund. The fund helps cover extra expenses that come with donating an organ such as lost wages. The money for the fund comes from donations through her Kickstarter page. The idea for the fund came after Fry-Revere was unable to donate an organ to her friend because she was not able to afford to pay for extra help to care for her farm while she was recovering.
The fund helped two people, Melissa Brincks and Stephanie Washington, donate organs. Brincks worked for a carpet cleaning business and learned that she would get laid off during her recovery. The fund gave her money to account for 40 percent of her wages, which, along with unemployment benefits as well as having a babysitter, helped make it possible for her to donate a kidney to her brother. Another woman, Brincks, received the grant after her sister, Faye Heald, signed her up on Fry-Revere’s page. Washington acquired a check from the fund to pay for her bills and rent for two months. Two similar Kickstarter campaigns are combining medicine with clothing.
Alex Niles created clothing that people could wear while doctors or nurses administer medication. The idea came to Niles after he had a medical port called a Central Venus Catheter inserted for the treatment of Gastric Cancer. A Central Venus Cathter, also known as a central line, is a thin tube that medical professionals insert into a vein in a person’s chest to give medications, blood products or nutrients during an extended period of time. He noticed that he, as well as elderly patients and women, were uncomfortable removing their shirts to receive medication. He created the first shirt by cutting a hole into an athletic shirt and attaching a removable patch so medical professionals could easily access the port. Niles started a Kickstarter page for his company called CureWear. The company rose more than his original goal of $30,000 in under two weeks. He spoke with nurses and doctors while creating the shirt. The company makes the shirts using an athletic fabric called Dry Sport and includes a removable patch that attaches with Velcro. The shirt is also beneficial when the patch is on because it can give medical professionals access to add additional ports.
Summer Germann is improving the lives of ill children through her campaign for Brave Gowns. These gowns are screen-printed hospital gowns that resemble costumes and should make children feel brave so they are able to endure a procedure that may otherwise scare them. Children can choose from different characters such as a superhero, a princess, or a cheerleader. Germann wants to distribute the gowns to medical facilities and through sponsors who support her non-profit company, Happy Ditto. Friends or family members will also be able to purchase the gowns online for a child they know who is ill. She came up with the idea after thinking about when her brother was getting treatment for cancer and while looking at a photo of her friend’s child in the hospital.
From helping living organ donor’s lives to improving and giving strength to people battling difficult diseases with medical wear, people are using Kickstarter to fund life changing projects. Niles wants to expand his central venus catheter and peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) clothing line to include pants as well as long-sleeved shirts for people to wear during the colder months. Niles successfully raised $50, 21 from his campaign on the first of October. Germann is also going to need to use a full body screen printer to print the gowns so they do not feel like they were screen-printed.
By Jordan Bonte