When I began this blog is was because I had just began a journey through Hell on earth, all because of a mesh implant. I was seeking answers as to why I was suffering so much and my doctor did not believe me. When I could not sleep for pain, I tried researching for those answers and six years ago there was literally nothing on the Internet about mesh implants. So I chose to do something to help myself. I began writing about my journey and before long other women contacted me and told me about their journey and how they finally got relief by going out to UCLA to have the mesh removed.
I never looked for anyone else to pay for my problems. I never set up a fund for donations, in fact I had no clue they even existed. I knew to get help I had to figure it all out for myself. Since then I have shared other women’s journeys and how they raised money through things they made, sold or through asking their family or church. No one gets a free ride through life and everyone struggles and makes sacrifices to have a future.
I am writing this blog today because of a comment that came in on this blog but I know this blog is not going to please everyone. However some women need to understand that they are not the only one who is hurting or need money. This is that comment.
“I see many people offer to say to go to UCLA to get this mesh removed but what if you are like me? I am a single woman not even living pay check to paycheck. My current insurance wouldn’t cover me getting it removed there and that is my only option. Unfortunately I don’t have a doctor on my plan that will remove it. I have no money to get this removed. However, I have to have done and soon. I am actively bleeding and I have an infection now. I don’t have the money to even fly out to UCLA much less pay the medical expenses.”
Okay, she made valid points which I will address through this blog. This was my reply to her comment.
“Michelle I can only tell you my own experience and that of many others who chose another doctor besides those at UCLA. I cannot give you every answer, nor help with finances. I am one woman who took a stand, learned and shared. I never once said I have all the answers.”
We are all told as children that money doesn’t grow on trees, but the problems often arise when parents say one thing and then do another. If we are given everything as children, then we become adults who think someone else should pay for our problems. I was NOT raised this way and I did NOT raise my daughter that way either. I believe we should teach children how they can deal with any problem when they happen in our lives. That is what parenting should be.
So first let’s deal with nonprofits and foundations. Women often ask if there is a foundation who will help pay their expenses for surgery and/or travel expenses. The answer is once and for all, no there isn’t. Even if there was, you need to understand that foundations are in the business of making money for themselves on a ruse of giving awareness. None of the money they raise will go to you, nor to any other woman in any medical situation!
Let’s take for instance the Susan B Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It was originally set up by a woman who wanted to raise awareness of the enormous rate of breast cancers in women. She went through it herself and she wanted to warn other women what can happen and what they could do to help themselves. Pretty much what I do with this blog about mesh implants. However as the Foundation grew, it was taken over by someone who decided she could make a fantastic living for herself. This is what I mean.
Nancy Brinker, the group’s founder and CEO, reversed the decision to defund the organization. Then, in August, Brinker announced that she would be stepping down. But 10 months later, Brinker still holds her position and tax documents reveal that she received a 64 percent raise and now makes $684,000 a year, according to the charity’s latest available tax filing.” Want to know what I am talking about. Read it here
For some reason the words ‘Foundation or Nonprofit’ seems to conger up the idea that someone else is going to pay for your disease, injury and surgery(s). For once and for all, you need to put this idea OUT of your head. NO ONE will pay to get you the help you need because it is all up to YOU to find a way.
If you Google how many nonprofits there are in this country, this is what you will find.
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.
Now let’s deal with those who sit around complaining about money and on Facebook support groups, decide they need to begin their own non-profit. There are so many misconceptions about beginning a nonprofit and I decided to give you a site where you can read what you are SUPPOSED to do with the donated money. I am doing this because if you set up a nonprofit and then you misappropriate any donations, you can be in BIG TROUBLE. Case in point was a past mesh nonprofit set up by David and Teresa Sawyer who had one they called TVT NO. To the outside world, they looked like they were going to do great things for women who were mesh injured. However when my daughter began Stopmesh.com, women came out of the woodwork wanting her to do something about this non-profit, because they promised women money and they never received it.
Once women badgered my daughter to find out where the money went from this organization, she began looking into them. It took some time but suddenly that organization was no more, but there was little accountability for the money they spent that was donated to their organization. You can read all the posts my daughter wrote about this organization here
To begin with, you don’t just begin an organization. You have to fill out paperwork and pay quite a bit of money out to start one up. (Money you could have used to go for surgery) Then you have to give yearly reports on what you did with the money, to the government. You have to run it like a business and be accountable to the government AND to the people you ACCEPT MONEY FROM.
Here is a good article to help you understand how serious it can get if you take money for yourself. Here is a paragraph from that article.
One of the things that you learn quickly when starting and operating a 501(c)(3) organization is that you have to handle money wisely. A nonprofit is no different than any other business in that you must make ends meet. Otherwise, your charity will cease to exist. The current economic difficulties make this task even more challenging as we all are stretching dollars until they are see-through.
But here’s a question you probably haven’t considered: In all of your efforts to keep the lights on, could it be that you are misappropriating funds without knowing it? Is it possible that you are even committing a crime? If you do not understand what the IRS requires regarding designated funds, you might be. So don’t get into trouble because you need money and think this would be a way to get it. Read more here
One last thing you need to know. If you do begin an organization of any kind you better have a very clean record. The reason is, when people wonder what you are doing with the money, they will run background checks on you and then share with the world through Facebook what they find, if it is bad. I know when we first began telling the truth about Horton and Akre, some did that on me and my daughter. Funny though, because they paid for nothing because we don’t have criminal records. So we got the last laugh knowing they wasted their money. How do I know they did it? You would be amazed what you can find out if you are smart.
So let’s now look at an organization called Mesh Warrior Foundation. It was set up by Aaron Horton and Jane Akre and so far it seems it is only a State of Texas non-profit. To set up a non-profit in the State of Texas all it costs is $25. I am sure every State sets their own fee. So for this she tells everyone how important she is and she can flout the name of something that seems like a huge, helpful organization. But is it really? Now you can read about what really transpired when Aaron Horton came to my home back in 2013 here
When asked about where the money goes, she says she doesn’t know, her husband does that. Do you believe this? If you do I am sure I can find something fake to sell you. If she is legitimate she would post an honest report of exactly what she took in and what she did with it, just like we do with our very small non-profit. However, she declines which makes her very suspicious.
Of course women are noticing what is going on with Jane Akre and Aaron Horton’s latest venture to make money from YOU and I am sure this is Horton’s doing. Why? Because she told me herself that she was Akre’s marketing person and she had to come up with ways to raise funds. Funds for who? Not you of course. It is for them to live a good life at your expense. So now they have hooked up with someone to sell ready mixed supplements to mesh injured women and it would be nice to know exactly what they will be making from it. Mark my words, these two women never do anything for love. At the end of this blog you will find out something else you may not know about how much money they rake in from your FACE and your injured body. So let’s go over this before you buy into it and spend your hard earned money, of which they will take a greedy share.
You should know that Jane Akre once told me that she did not have a non-profit because in the past she did and it was a pain. So of course she let’s others do the work and Aaron Horton is very willing.
On this blog at the top, is a link for supplements where I have written many blogs, sharing all the things I have taken to help me stay healthy before and after mesh removal. I also shared where you can buy them from at the least cost. What is this going to cost you to learn? Absolutely nothing! What Akre and Horton are doing is coming up with EXSPENSIVE products that are mixed and made up of many things you can buy at a fraction of the cost, WITHOUT their help. And NONE of it will go into either woman’s pocket. The truth is everyone who has an ounce of intelligence knows that the Internet is full of high priced mixes and they sell because of fear or laziness. You however, are bright and intelligent and you don’t need to buy into it. Better to educate yourself and then you can do this with far less money. Learn more about supplements here
Okay, so the lesson here is don’t look to any organization for money and forget about beginning one.
Now what? In the past, such as during the Depression here in the U.S. and Wars in other countries, people had to learn resilience. They had to ‘reuse’ long before the word recycle was popular. If you ask any older American how they got through it, they will give you some good stories of how they reused, sold anything they grew and many other ways of survival. They did not lay down and die. They did not give up and ask someone else to do something to help them. When the going was tough, they got up and did something to help themselves.
I have shared here many times my own upbringing and I can tell you that held me in good stead to get through the hard times and find a way to get out for surgery. I have also shared how I sold my car to pay expenses for flight and hotel and extra costs of being away from home. I loved my car and it was the only car I ever bought brand new. It was ten years old by that time, but it was in excellent shape and it was hard to say goodbye. But I had a choice. I could either stay where I was, wondering if I was going to survive my mesh injuries, or I could suck it up and do something to help myself. I chose the latter.
The worse part of life in America and other countries at the present time is that most people want everything now and expect someone else to pay their way. They have not gone through tough Wars or times of hardship and they are used to having everything they want and all the latest gadgets. They can’t consider life is worth living without them and don’t want to do without either.
Never have I owned an expensive cell phone nor a monthly cell phone plan. My daughter bought a used phone off the Internet and she pays for minutes, not a monthly plan. Then it isn’t used to talk for hours to anyone. She built me a computer many years ago and she has upgraded it when needed. I do have a laptop which she bought as a deal for when I could not sit at the computer, so that I could continue writing blogs and helping women. I now don’t use it often because I try to stay in life more, rather than spend all my time on the Internet but it is there in case I get sick at any time.
We never buy Starbucks coffee. Eating out is a treat. We don’t have a home phone plan, instead she found a deal to keep our home phone through the Internet and a good deal for me to speak to my sisters in England. Everything in our home is on line, hence we need to have a cell phone for emergency if the Internet is down. We are as frugal as it is possible to be and when she decided to do something special for mesh women, she sold some things to get it going. When another woman wanted to help by donating, she set up a State non-profit to be legitimate and she posted the report she made to the government. Then I wrote a blog and shared that report. You can read it here
She had already set up a non-profit for our dog rescue and she did the full 501C because you cannot rescue dogs from shelters unless you do things right. So she had to sell things to do it and we had to cut back things for ourselves in order to feed and care for them. So she got rid of the Satellite expense and bought a Roku box and we learned to watch shows we like, a day later through Hulu. Neither of us watch TV during the day. This will tell you about Roku and this will tell you about Hulu
Cutting out many things in our lives, enabled us to rescue dogs and feed them. We are also big on supplements for our dogs as we are for ourselves and the dogs who come here sick and starving quickly become healthy under our care without going through thousands on Vets bills. We are fortunate that a few people who love what we do have donated to help, which really helps to buy extra things, like steps for Molly to run up and down on the couch. You can read about Molly here It all helps but my daughter always works hard to find a way if we need something for the dogs. She also posted the end of year financial Statement publically on our dog rescue blog. To us being legitimate and transparent is very important and we want our donators to know what we do with the money.
So everything in our home goes through the Internet to save money. We live a frugal life and my daughter fixes everything here at the house, including she works on our vehicles unless the job is far too big. The car will be paid for in another month. The old Pick-up truck has been paid for, for many years and she does maintenance to keep them going. We have our own water well and septic system and she maintains them and we never hire others to do it. We live a very happy life and we do something good for dogs who need a home and come from shelters.
While I was going through many surgeries in the past, we had to cut back on everything to pay all the expenses. It was not hard for us, because we are used to living that way. I raised my daughter to understand that life is tough and you have to work hard to get through bad times. Thankfully, she has learned it well.
It really amazes me when women post on support groups that they lost everything and live in their cars. However they manage to spend many hours on the Internet so they must be using a phone and a connection somewhere. Should a phone come before a roof over your head? I guess to some people it should.
Everyone can cut back on something. Do you smoke, or drink? My daughter and I do neither and never have. So we could not make a change there. We don’t buy expensive coffee out, one or more times a day. Buying coffee in the grocery store is cheaper and we make our own at home. We don’t go places or spend money on entertainment. Life is still worth living and the dogs are very entertaining in our lives.
You may be thinking now after reading this that life just wouldn’t be worth living without your special treats and phone. I get it, but I also know if you really are having serious complications you will do what is necessary because life definitely won’t be worth living if you don’t.
A long time ago I wrote a blog called Mesh No Money. You can read it here At that time I was just learning about You Caring and other sites where someone could set up a page asking for help. I actually thought it was a good thing for injured women. Until…..
Before I go on, I want to share with you why on the last blog I wrote, I shared a link for a Go Fund Me fund raiser for a mesh injured grandmother, for her preemie grandchild who has a fast growing tumor that is life threatening. You should know why I made this SPECIAL EXCEPTION. Last year when she was going through a lot of pain and I knew her injury was very serious, we sent her a special Mesh Angel gift. She was so touched by it and then throughout the year she donated $200 to the fund so that other women could experience the same feeling. I am breaking the confidentiality of her anonymous donation for one reason. This woman helps everyone in her community and she is very caring. So now her grandbaby is on the critical list, I chose to reach out and help her in any way I could. She gives almost daily updates on the fund and you can read them here
So now I am going to ask you to think about something else. What have you done in your community? Do you volunteer for any organization or church? Do you try to make a difference in the lives of those who live in your area?
I will tell you why you should ask yourself these questions. If you are this kind of person and you tell someone what you are going through, then you are more than likely to be helped when you need it. Don’t expect help if you don’t share what is going on with your medical situation and remember that the purpose of any Go Fund Me account is so that you share, through YOUR friends and family on Facebook, not on other Mesh women’s pages. So ask yourself have you been a great parent or friend?
I can tell you that things really changed in how I think about these funds, after Jane Akre sent Estelle Tasz into my life. If you don’t know what happened you can read it all here I can also tell you that after Estelle stole a lot of money from other mesh injured women, through me trying to help her, I learned a big lesson. Bad women lie! How can you tell if they are bad? You can’t. I just don’t believe everything I hear any more. I know that many women want an easy way to take money from others and I no longer believe in any of it. The truth is if you are in pain you WILL find a way to help yourself. If you have been of help to others in any community, you WILL be repaid by others helping you through this time. But if you prefer to stay quiet and keep what is happening from your family and friends, you can’t expect anyone to care, nor help you.
Family and friends know you and they know your lifestyle. So if you have a nice big house and a few toys expensive in the yard such as a boat or other recreational toys your husband loves, then you need to sell them, so speak to your husband. If your husband truly loves you it will not be a problem. But don’t think that anyone else will pay your way through a crisis if you want to keep it all. YOU and YOUR family have to make these sacrifices so that you can feel better and it is up to them to help you get through it.
Speaking of family. You should be sharing all the costs and the pain of your mesh injuries with those you love, including your GROWN children. Not by whining day in and day out, but sharing how hard this is by giving them facts so that they know you truly need help. Ask them to sacrifice to help you get back into life and hopefully if you raised them right, they will dig deep into their pockets or help raise funds for you to get the surgery. Believe me even youngsters have to learn lessons in life and by doing it they will become good loving adults, who understand what a crisis is and how they need to help. You can read how one young boy helped his mother here
When another woman needed money to travel out to UCLA, she and her grown son sat and made things and then sold them at a local flea market and they raised it all. When the flea market people knew why she needed it, they too pitched in by making sure she did not have to pay for the booth. You can read how they did it here
I know women who lay in bed and raised money through selling things on EBay. In fact another good woman sold things after she got through her surgeries and then she too made a donation to Mesh Angels because she also though it was wonderful to have something come in the mail when you are at the lowest point of life. She is another good woman who really cares about other people.
The worse thing any mother can do is raise children to feel entitled. Not only is this bad for the rest of the world but when they have a crisis as adults, it is bad for them too because they don’t know what to do and how to cope. Remember you won’t always be there to help, so teach them how, and not do it for them. As adults, we have to be resilient and find a way through the hard times in life and then we can teach our children how to do it for themselves.
I realize that not everyone will be happy with this blog because it isn’t giving the answers they want at the present time. However I know from going through this myself and watching many others go through this, that mesh will not kill you in a hurry. Case in point is the woman who left the comment. She must have mesh erosion for the bleeding to be going on and of course has infections. I have no doubt the warning signs have been there for a long time, because it doesn’t happen overnight. So if you have any warning signs, start preparing ASAP.
It takes a long time for the body to break down, so you have time to figure out where and how you can make cuts to pay for expenses or raise money. You are not going to die tomorrow unless you left it far too late, so make a start at working on your future. The truth is, if you have more than 3 infections in any year, you are at the beginning of mesh complications and you should make cuts now and expect to take a while to raise enough money. Like I have always said, everything is about taking baby steps. If you brush these symptoms aside because you don’t want to deal with it, then expect one day you will be sorry you waited to plan.
So if you still need money? Well don’t give any away to Jane Akre because she is making a REALLY good living off of your face and your injuries, so ask her for a donation to your fund raiser and see what happens. How much does she make? In case you didn’t know it, her and Horton work hand in hand and you will see it is so on this rate page and make sure you read it ALL. You will find women’s faces there, used to raise money for the two of them and you should check, just in case you did NOT give your permission to use YOUR photo. Horton’s email is on there if you want your photo removed. Personally, I don’t believe any woman’s face should be used to take on advertisers. Here is her rate page
Raising funds for a large project like mesh removal will take time, so begin now if you haven’t already. Here is a site with twenty-five ways you can earn money. Here it is
Just remember that life is NOT a Fairy tale and you and your family will find a way to find the money you need and make the sacrifices needed. Everyone in your family should be part of it, because that is what families are for. So stop asking everyone outside of your circle to do it for you, if you have not done all that is possible to help yourself.
Here are more ways to raise funds. http://bebusinessed.com/medical-fundraising/