Well-wishers have raised over $50,000 (US dollars, €38,600) in two days to fund cancer treatment for veteran trans rights activist and academic Kate Bornstein.
Bornstein's friend Laura Vogel started a page on Go Fund Me crowd-funding site on Wednesday. After one day over $40,000 was raised.
'We are all blown away by how fast this sum has grown, and by how many people have stepped up to stand by Kate's side as she goes through this difficult process of healing,' said Vogel.
In answer to why she started this campaign for Bornstein, Vogel said:
'Kate, or Auntie Kate as so many of us affectionately call her, has helped so many people surmount the trappings of social pressure, bullying, and oppression that so often lead to suicide. Kate has helped thousands of people choose to "stay alive," as she puts it.
'So, when she told me that she wouldn't be able to follow the treatment plan that her doctors said was her best - and only - hope for beating cancer, it broke my heart. I was sad, confused, and outraged. And then I remembered: we can fix this problem; we can make Kate's treatment plan financially possible.'
Bornstein is an author, playwright, performance article and gender theorist - a leading academic in deconstructing the concept of gender binary. She was diagnosed with lung cancer last August. She received treatment and doctors believed they had removed the cancer - but last month they found the cancer was back.
Vogel says that Bornstein's cancer is curable, but expensive. Although she does have health insurance she has to pay high monthly payments, cover travel costs and pay for supplements that her doctor says are an integral part of her treatment.
Also, Bornstein is not able to work - at speaking engagements, performances or writing - while she is fighting the cancer.
'This means that Kate will have no way to pay for rent, utilities, food, pet care, or any other normal expense,' said Vogel.
'This is where we come in. Kate’s work - her books, lectures, performances, apps, and online presence - has helped countless people choose life instead of suicide. Kate’s efforts have literally saved thousands of lives. Now, it’s time for all of us to save the life of just one person: Kate Bornstein.'
The project aims to raise $100,000. Most of the donations so far have been under $100. 'I am pretty sure that if we raise enough money, you are legally obligated to stay alive for at least a couple hundred years. (Please?),' said Liz McCarty who donated $10.
Watch Bornstein talking about her memoir A Queer and Pleasant Danger here: