Imagine being forced to choose between saving your own life or the life of a loved one and paying your rent or purchasing food for your family. For many in central Texas, there is no need to imagine. With medical costs rising at an exponential rate, paying off medical bills is insurmountable for many Texans. According to a recent study conducted by Kaiser Health News and NPR, more than 100 million Americans suffer from the burden of unpaid medical debt and Texas has the highest percentage of people struggling to pay their medical bills, a problem only exacerbated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, around 22% of Texans have outstanding medical debt, and in Travis County alone, there are millions of dollars in unpaid medical debt, which burdens families and leads to financial and mental stress. 

My dad is an oncologist, and for years, I have heard him talk about patients who are forced to choose between paying for medications and procedures costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars and paying for food, housing, and clothing. These stories always nagged at me, and recently, I began researching how to help.  

Through my research, I came across Undue Medical Debt. Undue directly abolishes outstanding medical debt by purchasing bundled medical debt portfolios from hospitals and, at times, from the secondary debt market and hospitals, and then abolishes that debt at pennies on the dollar through donations from charitable organizations and everyday donors like you and me. On average, every $1 donated to Undue is leveraged to eliminate around $100 dollars of medical debt. When debt relief recipients open a yellow envelope from Undue, they are told that their debt has been bought by a third party and erased with no strings attached. They owe nothing on the debt and face no tax penalty. They are free to focus on living their lives without the overwhelming burden of their medical debt hanging over them.

I want to be a part of the solution by eliminating outstanding medical debt in my community, so I have created the 26 for 26 campaign. My goal is to relieve $2.6 million dollars of medical debt in Travis County by 2026, the year I graduate high school, and I am hoping you might be willing to help by donating $26 (or more) toward this goal. All money raised through my campaign will stay in Travis County to help our neighbors in Austin and surrounding areas. Furthermore, all donations are tax-deductible.

If you have any questions about my campaign, I would love to answer them for you. Thank you for considering partnering with me and participating in my 26 for 26 campaign.