A few months ago the word ‘crowdfunding’ would mainly make me think of independent musicians trying to get funding for their projects from their fans. Also, I used to see, and still do, people raising funds for charities through crowdfunding. I would never have thought, I would end up signing up for the crowdfunding services myself!
When my battle with cancer started, financial problems started too, as me working is no longer an option at the moment. Even though the medical treatment I receive is free, I have had to make significant changes in diet, life style and resort to multiple supplements in order to help my immune system bear with the chemo regime and be strong enough to battle cancer cells too. A friend of mine suggested that I should open a crowdfunding page to raise funds for all the needs connected with the treatment; raising the boys, and helping with funeral costs should it come to this. I did not feel comfortable with the idea. I suppose if I was to do it for someone else, there would be no problem, but raising funds for myself and my family seemed to me at first almost like begging!!! I put my doubts aside and decided to give it a go. It was nearly two months ago. I had no idea what amount of money should be my target, so I decided to choose 8, since it is my lucky number and bearing in mind the mentioned expenses, I knew we would target thousands, so 8000 became the target of my crowdfunding campaign, which I nicknamed ‘a lemonade fundraiser‘.
I was sure that there would be a big response to my lemonade fundraiser among my facebook friends, and, indeed a few responded immediately and a few shared my crowdfunding page with their friends. I’ve had a few surprises ever since I opened the fundraiser – people I was sure would support me have not and people I did not expect to respond at all, have done so! It has been a superb reminder NOT to project any expectations on anyone, but remain open to wherever blessings want to come from!
I still would prefer someone else to promote my ‘lemonade fundraiser’ – I think I still have a silly belief that putting myself out there in order to provide for my needs and the needs of my family is wrong/selfish. I know it is an unreasonable lack belief and thanks to the situation I have found myself in, I have been able to work on that belief. There is nothing selfish about wanting to succeed in beating an illness and providing the needs of one’s family.
So far, I have reached 18% of the set goal in my crowdfunding action. 44 people have been touched by my story and have donated to the cause. I have been blessed by those kind gestures and will always cherish them far more than the money that has been donated. There are 60 more days to go before my fundraiser is over and I do not have a clue how to get new supporters. It seems like I have exhausted the patience of my friends on social media. There was even an article about my story in a local paper and it inspired a few people to support me but not nearly as many as one would have expected from our community and in response to an article like this. I have decided not to be discouraged by this, though. It has been an interesting experience and a lesson of sorts and I still believe there are generous, kindhearted people out there that will be led by the Higher Power to my lemonade fundraiser and support me, even though I am no celebrity and my cause has nothing to do with any known charity! 🙂
I want to thank every single person that has kindly supported me so far and wish that their kindness be rewarded in multiple ways. This week I have learn that the latest CT scan of mine results are good, which has been an enormous blessing for me! Battling a secondary cancer is a long haul journey, though. Therefore, a long term support is necessary to successfully tackle the everyday challenges connected with the battle. People often think that surely there will be many others who would actually financially contribute to a particular crowdfunding page. If everyone thinks this way, though, nobody contributes anything at all. Instead, the best thing to do is to share a little amount one is able and willing to, for every penny counts and every little helps. 🙂
All in all, I would recommend crowdfunding as means to find financial support, new experiences and meeting kind-hearted people.