I am starting to process everything that is happening around me and to feel that I can even put it into words. At this moment, I am in the Hargita Mountains in a camp that we come to every year with my family. I did not want to cancel it since coming here gives me exactly what I need right now: being with my family among people who do not necessarily know that a whole virtual community was activated in order to help me. Here I can listen to talks about religion and art – and I can even escape my thoughts to have a normal conversation.

Many of you ask about the deadline for raising the necessary funds. It is a fair question and also a tricky one. The clinic sent me their price offer on Tuesday, and I immediately wrote back to inquire whether I need to pay an advance and how the whole system works? This is the answer that I received:

“Indeed, payment should be done in advance in the form of a bank transfer or by credit card / cash at the time of admission into the clinic.

If the final sum to be paid upon leaving the hospital will be smaller than the prepaid amount, we will reimburse the difference. If the final sum will be larger, then the extra charge will need to be paid before a set deadline. This might happen in case there are complications during the operation or if the doctor decides that additional procedures are needed.”

At our consultation, the surgeon told me that he can operate in two weeks if needed, but that he will not be available after September 10. I don’t know if he’s simply going on holiday afterwards or retiring from the profession, but I have a hunch that it is the former. He also tried to reassure me by saying that since this time there will be no implantation of a prosthesis the final sum shouldn’t be that high. At the time, I did not want to comment on his appraisal, but you can surely imagine that whatever he considers “not that high” is still miles away from what I consider to be “affordable.”

In short: they can operate on me as soon as I have the money.

How to get the required money?

We thought of three potential sources:

  1. Fundraising.
  2. Reaching deep into the savings of our (extended) family.
  3. Asking for a loan. (We even thought about getting a loan from a bank, but then decided to ask only friends and acquaintances. Since we are talking about an amount which equals the price of a house, a bank loan would mean a 30-year commitment that honestly scared us, considering the unpredictability of our salaries.)

The success and the proportions of the fundraising took me completely by surprise. I gave up trying to comprehend what is happening. I am now trying to silence my ego and accept the whole thing. It is not easy…

Family savings can provide around 20% of the final sum.

And finally, within the first 24 hours we received a friendly loan offer which could secure HALF of the required amount of money. This was yet another unbelievable surprize.

You know what all this means? Well, it means that on Monday I am going to schedule the operation with a newfound confidence and tell the surgeon: “You see, Doctor, the amount is indeed not that high if one is lucky enough to be part of a worldwide community!”