Woman with breast cancer “humbled” by crowdfunding effort to reduce medical bills

(CBS News) Web sites like Kickstarter are becoming a popular way to raise money, for everything from indie films to garage bands. But what about crowdfunding for health care? CBS News recently met one woman, Amelia Coffaro, who is counting on it. The 28-year-old is in the fight of her life. She was diagnosed in February with an aggressive form of inflammatory breast cancer. She started chemotherapy on Valentine’s Day and underwent a double mastectomy less than six weeks later. Dr. Alysandra Lal, a surgical oncologist for Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., is her surgeon. Lal said, “She is handling this phenomenally well. But you have to understand, to be 28 and given this diagnosis hits you out of left field. This is very hard even to accept the diagnosis, let alone face this very difficult treatment.” As a freelance photographer living in New York City, Coffaro had no health insurance to ward off what quickly became a mountain of medical bills. So a group of her friends got together and did something very loving, very modern, and, it turned out, very effective. It’s called crowdfunding — a booming niche of the U.S. economy that has raised start-up […]

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