Cancer Patient’s Final Act: Destroying Medical Debt

Derick Alison
Derick Alison
4 Min Read

A 38-year-old woman who died from ovarian cancer earlier this month posthumously launched a viral campaign that will help pay off an estimated $60 million in medical debt.

Casey McIntyre died on November 12, and in a thread posted to X (formerly Twitter) 2 days later, she wrote, “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.

The post has garnered nearly 5 million views, and it links out to her campaign on RIP Medical Debt, which has raised nearly $610,000.

RIP Medical Debt, which was formed by former debt collection executives, buys medical debt at lower prices and then forgives it, instead of collecting on it.

Allison Sesso, president and CEO of RIP Medical Debt, explained that the amount raised actually goes 100 times further in eliminating debt. For instance, a $10 donation erases $1,000 in medical debt — so McIntyre’s campaign will actually erase about $60 million in debt at this point.

Sesso said the McIntyre campaign began with a $20,000 goal, but that has been raised several times and now sits at $650,000.

“We’ve never seen a campaign raise so much money for medical debt abolishment so quickly,” Sesso said, adding that McIntyre’s campaign alone “will help tens of thousands of people.” Its debt erasure will focus on the Northeast region, where McIntyre’s family lives.

RIP Medical Debt was founded in 2014, and it has since erased $10.4 billion in medical debt for more than 7 million patients. Sesso said McIntyre’s campaign is the organization’s first posthumous fundraiser.

“It’s both heartbreaking and inspiring that nearing the end of her life, Casey, and her husband Andrew, had the vision and goodwill to think of others who can’t afford their medical care or who are buried under healthcare debts they’ll never be able to pay,” Sesso said. “I think that selflessness is really resonating with the public.”

McIntyre’s husband, Andrew Rose Gregory, told the New York Times that the family is “overwhelmed, and it’s been really powerful to see the response to people wanting to eliminate strangers’ medical debt.” Gregory also told the Washington Post that McIntyre was fortunate to not have medical debt, but she had met plenty of fellow cancer patients who were not as lucky.

“People are making miserable decisions about their care because of money,” Gregory told the Post. “This imaginary debt is dragging so many people down. It’s an immoral part of our nation.”

McIntyre’s family posted in the thread on X that they would be hosting a “memorial service and debt jubilee” — inspired by anthropologist David Graeber’s book “Debt” — in McIntyre’s honor next month.

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    Rachael Robertson is a writer on the MedPage Today enterprise and investigative team, also covering OB/GYN news. Her print, data, and audio stories have appeared in Everyday Health, Gizmodo, the Bronx Times, and multiple podcasts. Follow

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