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A Cancer Patient’s Legacy: Eradicating Millions in Medical Debts After Her Demise

by Gabriel Martinez
4 comments
Medical Debt Forgiveness

A woman from New York City, who succumbed to cancer last Sunday, has made a significant impact posthumously by raising funds sufficient to clear millions in medical debts.

Before her death, Casey McIntyre communicated through a social media post, shared by her husband, her intention to purchase and forgive others’ medical debts, as a tribute to her own life.

On a platform once known as Twitter, McIntyre’s message stated, “if you’re reading this, my journey has ended.”

She expressed in her message, “My love for each one of you was immense, and I always felt the depth of your love for me,” shared the 38-year-old. This heartfelt note was accompanied by a link to a fundraising initiative she set up with the non-profit organization RIP Medical Debt.

Her husband, Andrew Rose Gregory, disseminated these messages on Tuesday, and the response was overwhelming. The campaign surged beyond its initial $20,000 target, amassing approximately $140,000 by Friday, which translates to about $14 million in medical debt relief.

Gregory reflected on their experience, acknowledging the excellent care and insurance coverage they had at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Yet, they encountered some daunting charges. This realization led them to contemplate, “What if, instead of seeking a cure for cancer, we focus on aiding those overwhelmed by medical debt?”

In the U.S. healthcare landscape, even insured patients can find themselves burdened by substantial medical expenses, particularly those needing consistent treatment or medication for chronic conditions.

A study in 2022 by the nonprofit KFF, analyzing government data, revealed that nearly 1 in 10 U.S. adults have medical debts of at least $250, totaling around 23 million people, including 11 million owing over $2,000.

RIP Medical Debt specializes in acquiring debts from healthcare providers and secondary markets, often at a fraction of their original value. The organization notes that each dollar donated can offset approximately $100 in debt, focusing on aiding those with lower incomes. Daniel Lempert, a spokesperson for the organization, highlighted the uniqueness of McIntyre’s campaign, being the first planned for initiation post-mortem.

McIntyre, a book publisher by profession, began her battle with ovarian cancer in 2019. According to her husband, she spent a significant portion of the past year in the hospital.

The couple, residents of Brooklyn, initiated plans for her memorial and the debt-relief campaign following a life-threatening episode in May. Their inspiration came from a video showcasing a North Carolina church congregation eliminating about $3 million in medical debt.

In her final months, McIntyre, under home hospice care, cherished a “bonus summer,” enjoying beach outings and family time, including moments with their 18-month-old daughter, Grace.

“Casey, in her final days, had unfulfilled wishes,” Gregory shared. “But I knew her desire to realize this memorial and debt jubilee. So, I arranged it as she would have preferred.”


Note: The Health and Science Department of The Big Big News is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP maintains full editorial control over the content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medical Debt Forgiveness

Who was Casey McIntyre and what did she achieve before her death?

Casey McIntyre was a New York City woman who, before succumbing to cancer, initiated a campaign to erase millions of dollars in medical debt. She arranged to purchase and forgive the medical debts of others as a tribute to her life and struggle with cancer.

How much money was raised through Casey McIntyre’s campaign and what was its impact?

The campaign started by Casey McIntyre quickly surpassed its $20,000 goal, raising about $140,000 by Friday. This amount was sufficient to buy around $14 million in medical debt, significantly easing the financial burden for numerous individuals.

What inspired Casey McIntyre and her husband to start this medical debt forgiveness campaign?

Casey McIntyre and her husband, Andrew Rose Gregory, were inspired to start this campaign after facing daunting medical charges despite having good insurance. They were moved by the plight of those who couldn’t afford cancer treatment and were being crushed by medical debt.

What does RIP Medical Debt do, and how does it relate to the campaign?

RIP Medical Debt is a nonprofit organization that purchases medical debts from hospitals and other healthcare providers, often for a fraction of the original value. The campaign started by Casey McIntyre worked with this organization, and every dollar donated was used to buy about $100 in medical debt, targeting aid for people with lower incomes.

What was the unique aspect of Casey McIntyre’s campaign with RIP Medical Debt?

This campaign was unique as it was the first time RIP Medical Debt had dealt with a campaign planned to start after the individual’s death. Casey McIntyre had planned this charitable act as part of her legacy.

How did Casey McIntyre’s personal healthcare experience influence her campaign?

Casey McIntyre received treatment for ovarian cancer, and despite having good health insurance, she and her husband encountered high medical costs. This personal experience with the healthcare system’s financial challenges inspired them to help others facing similar burdens.

What was the personal significance of the campaign for Casey McIntyre’s family?

For Casey’s husband, Andrew Rose Gregory, fulfilling this campaign was a way to honor Casey’s memory and wishes. It was a tribute to her life and her compassion, aiming to alleviate the financial strain of medical debt for others as her legacy.

More about Medical Debt Forgiveness

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • RIP Medical Debt
  • Cancer Treatment and Financial Strain
  • U.S. Healthcare Costs
  • Nonprofit KFF Medical Debt Study
  • Health Insurance in the United States
  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness and Treatment Options
  • Managing Chronic Health Conditions
  • The Impact of Medical Debt on American Families

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4 comments

Sandra L November 18, 2023 - 4:29 am

Wow, what an amazing story, its incredible how some people can think of others even in their darkest times, Casey sounds like she was a really special person…

Reply
Mike87 November 18, 2023 - 10:27 am

I heard about this on the news, it’s sad but also inspiring? Makes you think about what really matters in life.

Reply
KarenP November 18, 2023 - 12:51 pm

Just shows how broken the healthcare system is, nobody should be in debt because they got sick. Thank god for people like Casey.

Reply
Tim_R November 18, 2023 - 5:05 pm

this is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, cancer is just the worst, lost my mom to it last year. It’s a good reminder to do what we can to help others.

Reply

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