A Brooklyn mom who announced her own death Tuesday in a heartbreaking social media post also completed one final act of kindness for strangers before passing away.
Casey McIntyre, 38, died Sunday of ovarian cancer, and her story went viral after she announced her own death in a heartbreaking message.
She preemptively penned the statement to ensure family and friends she knew how “deeply” she was loved.
However, while planning for her own passing, McIntyre also decided to complete one last good deed — and encouraged others to join in.
“To celebrate my life, I’ve arranged to buy up others’ medical debt and then destroy the debt. I am so lucky to have had access to the best medical care at [Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center] and am keenly aware that so many in our country don’t have access to good care,” she wrote on X with a link to her donation page.
McIntyre partnered with RIP Medical Debt — a New York-based non-profit organization that buys medical debt at cost to relieve patients’ looming payments — to create her own campaign to clear strangers of their mounting financial woes.
According to new research by PerryUndem, a non-partisan public opinion research firm, nearly seven in 10 American adults say they receive medical bills they cannot afford, and six in 10 patients report they have self-treated, delayed or skipped dental and medical appointments due to rising costs.
“Through the charity RIP Medical Debt, we are buying others’ medical debt and destroying it,” her husband Andrew Gregory explained in her obituary posted to Instagram.
“Every penny buys approximately $1, which is an eye-opening look at both our power to eliminate medical debt and how fictional and made up so much crushing medical debt is.”
As McIntyre’s devastating death announcement went viral, so did her campaign, which increased its goal several times, quickly surpassing each monetary milestone.
On Thursday morning the fund had raised $76,776 and increased the goal to $100,000 — nearly doubling overnight.
A memorial service for McIntyre is set for Dec. 2 at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Boathouse, where mourners “will celebrate her life by anonymously purchasing medical debt and then anonymously forgiving it.”
McIntyre was a loving, family-focused mom and publisher at Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House that releases books for kids and young adults.
Her story first melted hearts around the world on Tuesday when her X and Instagram posts broke the news of her death to many.
“A note to my friends: if you’re reading this it means I have passed away,” her devastating post began.
“I’m so sorry, it’s horses–t and we both know it.”
The tragic message accompanied a series of photos showing McIntyre smiling while surrounded by loved ones, most notably her husband and their 18-month-old daughter, Grace.
“I loved each and every one of you with my whole heart and I promise you, I knew how deeply I was loved,” she insisted, adding that the last five months she spent in home hospice with her family and friends were “magical.”
Gregory noted that the post was sadly cut short due to her declining health.
“Casey meant to finish this post with a list of things that were a comfort and a joy to her during her life, and I am heartbroken that I will never see that list,” he wrote.
He imagined that his wife of eight years would have included their “daughter Grace, whales, ice cream, her beloved friends, being at the beach, her niece and nephews she incorrigibly doted on, reading 10 books on a weeklong vacation, her beloved parents and sister and their amazing extended family, swimming, a perfect roast beef sandwich, and me, her sweet sweet honey.”
Gregory asked McIntyre’s friends to comment with a comfort or joy that they shared with her.
Her family lovingly remembered that McIntyre “always knew what bodegas had the best magazine selections, what restaurants were best for spotting celebrities on her lunch break, and gave every new New Yorker the advice: make sure you buy a coat that covers your butt, because that’s where you lose a lot of warmth.”
They also added that “her greatest gifts and joys were her ready and generous wit, her easy laugh, her devotion to her family and friends, and her astonishing determination and grit.”
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