Casey McIntyre recently died of cancer. Before she passed away, Ms. McIntyre set up a way to help others. Now, over $600,000 has been donated in her memory, and that money will help to pay off around $60 million of other people’s medical bills.
Ms. McIntyre, who was 38, worked as a publisher in New York City. In 2019, doctors told her that she had a serious kind of cancer that’s usually found in women much older than Ms. McIntyre. Though doctors treated her for the cancer, Ms. McIntyre’s health got worse.
But she realized that in a way, she was luckier than some other people. She had insurance to help pay for her medical care. “Casey had no medical debt,” said her husband, Andrew Rose Gregory. That means she didn’t owe money for her medical care.
But Ms. McIntyre and her husband knew that many people with cancer face tough decisions because of the costs of medical care. Many people wind up owing far more than they can pay. Ms. McIntyre worried about others who weren’t as lucky as she had been.
Soon, Ms. McIntyre and her husband began donating money to a group called RIP Medical Debt. This group works to pay off the unpaid medical debts of others. Usually, the group can pay off medical bills for about 100 times less money than they actually cost. In other words, for every $100 donated, the group can pay off $10,000 in unpaid medical bills.
In late June, doctors told Ms. McIntyre that she probably had about a month to live. Though her health was failing, Ms. McIntyre lived for about six months. She had many difficult days, but she also spent some wonderful days with her family.
In that time, Ms. McIntyre also thought about what she wanted to happen after she died. She decided to make an effort to pay off the medical debts of as many people as she possibly could.
“If you’re reading this I have passed away,” the post began. Then the post explained, “To celebrate my life, I’ve arranged to buy up others’ medical debt and then destroy the debt.”
The couple had set up a page on a website to raise money for this purpose. They had hoped to raise about $20,000. That would have been enough to pay off about $2 million worth of medical bills.
But Ms. McIntyre’s post attracted a lot of attention. The donations on her web page quickly passed the original goal. In less than a week, the site had raised 10 times more than expected. And the donations are still coming in.
As of November 22, Ms. McIntyre’s web page had raised over $627,000, or enough money to pay off about $60 million in medical debt.
Mr. Gregory is planning a special event in December to celebrate Ms. McIntyre’s life and to announce how many millions of dollars of medical debt her efforts have paid for.