CrowdFunding – How I’m Helping My Little Sister’s Battle with Cancer

"CrowdFunding" - How I'm helping my sister battle cancer by easing the financial pain.

Just two weeks ago I was fretting over the Oscar nominations. This week, I just want my sister to live.

The ‘C’ Word

He came knocking at my family’s door January 17th and tried to take my little sister, Mary. He is Acute Myeloid Leukemia – Cancer. Mary Marin is 30, she and her husband, Lorenzo have been married two years and just bought a house in Mission Viejo in May.

Fighting Like a Girl

Mary is now fighting for her life in the City of Hope. Needless to say, the bills are piling up…as are her aftercare needs. Mary can fight and fight hard, her husband can be by her side and support her whenever he can….but what can I do?

CrowdFunding – Pass the Hat ‘Round the Web

What can I do? I can raise money! Forget selling candy or passing the hat – CrowdFunding is where it’s at! My husband and I had a great experience using KickStarter to fund his album, so I researched CrowdFunding sites to find the perfect one for my needs. I chose GoFundMe. I bought my own domain name BecauseFlowersStink.com (chemo patients can’t have flowers) and pointed it to my GoFundme site. I have some amazing "reward levels" for donations such as, autographed John Stamos Headshots, Ipad Minis & a CD signed by all the Beach Boys!

How to Keep the Crowd Funding

  • An amazing photo
  • Start a Facebook page for your cause 
  • Add non-Facebookers to the email update list
  • Link to Twitter, Tweet small, and ask your Tweeps to RT
  • Post updates daily. Keep a variety of encouraging, funny, and painful struggle…it’s not all a “happy place”. I do a spot called “True Story” where I post something funny about my sister every three days, I want to make her real to people that haven’t met her before.
  • Post photo updates
  • Use reward levels
  • Thank every person as you get every donation
  • Do not be afraid to embarrass yourself. At my 50% mark I posted an embarrassing photo of myself, people actually gave just to see it.


The Big Payoff

The goal is $19,000.00 by April 19th. As of today we have $12,800.00. If the giving is consistent, we will meet our goal…and if the goal is met by that date, I will shave my head! As for Mary, she has 6 more weeks in City of Hope; her biggest payoff, simply - life.

Stay strong, Mary and fight like a girl!

For updates on Mary’s progress visit:




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Charlene February 03, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Awesome story!
Dena February 03, 2013 at 09:25 PM
This is a great solution for those who feel helpless when someone they love is suffering. Ms. Bardowell shared some very useful tips. Prayers going up for Mary. I hope you reach your goal.
Peter Schelden February 04, 2013 at 09:28 PM
That's a great plan, and I'm glad to see it's working! Keep us posted on your progress Sarah!


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