Reeve Summit 2022: Fundraising for Medical Expenses: What You Need to Know

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on August 31, 2022 # Reeve Summit

Spinal cord injury is life-altering in many ways. Financial ruin should not be one of them.

A session at the upcoming Reeve Summit lays out a roadmap for how to successfully raise money to cover the expenses associated with a traumatic injury or diagnosis. Sonny Mullen, director of outreach for Help Hope Live, will present “Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Successful Fundraising” on October 13.

Register for the Reeve Summit 2022: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect, in-person October 13-14 in Washington, DC.

Even with good insurance, out-of-pocket costs related to treatment and rehab can be staggering. A 25-year-old with paraplegia will need about $2.5 million over the course of a lifetime for direct medical and living expenses, according to a fact sheet from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. The cost more than doubles for people with a C1-C4 level injury.

First-year costs top $1 million for the most severe injuries, but they don’t stop there. Equipment and services that help people with paralysis lead independent lives, such as electric wheelchairs, adaptive vehicles and daily physical therapy, are often not covered by insurance -- or not covered adequately. This leaves families to fend for themselves.

Keeping a Medical Crisis from Being a Financial Crisis

"We don't believe that any medical crisis should turn into a financial crisis,” says Mullen. As medical expenses skyrocket, fundraising to cover medical expenses has become a lifeline for many families, yet many people are uncomfortable or unknowledgeable about how to go about it. Help Hope Live is a professional fundraising platform – a kind of GoFundMe for medical expenses -- that provides personal support and expertise in order to make the process as simple and as safe as possible.

With a personal connection to Help Hope Live’s mission, Mullen applies her lived experience to her job as outreach director, connecting with individuals in the disability community all across the country to help them safely fundraise for their medical and related expenses.

In her presentation, Mullen will offer her best advice on fundraising based on her years of experience with Help Hope Live. Using real-life examples of what has worked in the past, she’ll point out ways to harness community support and keep people engaged throughout the fundraising drive. Participants can expect to leave with concrete ideas for events and campaigns, including sample social media posts, flyers, and other communications tools that people have used successfully to reach their fundraising goals.

Engage Your Community at Reeve Summit 2022

The Reeve Summit 2022 will be held in person on October 13-14 at CONVENE at 600 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. The Summit will touch on topics and themes relevant to the paralysis community and give everyone a chance to hear from experts, ask questions, and share experiences on many aspects of life. Topics include access to healthcare, health equity, caregiving, research, emergency preparedness, and more over three general sessions and up to 18 focused breakout sessions.

Register now for the Reeve Summit 2022.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.