Ezra has been going through an aggressive treatment for metastatic stage 4 colon cancer, including months of recovery. He’s gone through numerous rounds of chemo, undergone a liver surgery, and is facing even more chemo. Through all of it, Ezra has maintained a tremendously positive attitude. As a self-employed carpenter jack-of-all-trades, he hasn’t been able to work, therefore savings have dwindled to his final “bank account” of vehicles and tools.
When Ezra had no other option than to sell his motorcycles and camper to pay the bills, his girlfriend Lisa Martin stepped in. She decided to start a crowdfunding campaign on Ezra’s behalf in order to give his friends and family a practical way of supporting him financially.
We spoke with Lisa about Ezra’s crowdfunding journey and learned how they managed to raise over $27k from a community of over 215 individuals.
Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?
“Everyone in our community was extremely supportive when Ezra was diagnosed. We received many offers of help (“if there’s anything at all I can do…”), but there weren’t many opportunities to accept assistance. What Ezra really needed was financial support. When he started talking about selling his motorcycles and tools, I decided it was time to bring it to the community and ask for help on his behalf.”
How did you initially promoting your campaign and get so many supporters?
“All I did was post the request for help and it took on a life of its own. Ezra is an amazing person and our community happily rallied behind him and passed on the request. It was finally something we could do for him.”
What was a challenge you faced while crowdfunding?
“I talked with Ezra and let him read my write-up before launching the fundraiser, but even so, I was really really nervous about putting it out there. I didn’t know what would happen, or if I was doing it “right”. I was worried what his mom would think, which was kind of silly looking back. She was really happy.”
What was the highlight of your crowdfunding experience?
“At the beginning of the fundraiser – Ezra was just going in for a chemo infusion and his donations and messages of encouragement were coming in steadily and he was so, so touched. It became a better, more joyous focus than the chemo.”
Do you have any advice for others who want to start crowdfunding?
“For someone with a medical condition, I think it is good to ask on that person’s behalf, as their advocate, and set it up so funds go directly to that person. Also, keep your community or “audience” in mind when you post. They want to know what’s going on so they understand how they can help. Be clear and direct. Updates with details and photos keep everyone connected and involved – I highly recommend them!”
Anything else you would like to share?
“Don’t be afraid to ask! I really didn’t know what to expect when this launched. I felt shy about asking for help, but the volume of positive response changed that! Also, I’m no expert on fundraising – I just talked to people the way that I would want to be talked to and made a request… and it all flowed from there. We have a wonderful community. My greatest surprise was how thankful they were for the opportunity to give. It’s really been life-changing.”
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