UPDATE: Please note that the goal was increased due to the realization that a burial plot was not paid off as they originally thought.
Many of you know Cathy Cairns. She has been a familiar face at many LGBTQ community events as well as an active participant in housing development projects.
I am very sad to report that Cathy was recently diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer and is in her final days at West Penn Hospital, in hospice care. Cathy’s parent predeceased her and she is surrounded by a loving family of choice. And they need your help.
Cathy wishes to be buried with a proper headstone and a funeral, but she does not have enough personal assets to cover those wishes. So her friends, David and Shakura, have set up a GoFundMe project, hoping to raise just $3500 in a few days so Cathy can leave this world reassured that her final request will be honored.
Cathy’s story is not unusual for adults in the LGBTQ community and beyond. She cared for aging parents, sacrificing her own financial stability to make sure their needs were met. She worked weekend overnights for years at a convenience store so she could pursue her goal of providing consulting to revitalized neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Cathy finally was able to step away from that second job and those arduous hours just weeks before her diagnosis. Consulting doesn’t open the door to a guaranteed pension and life insurance policy. Cathy like many of us simply worked as hard as she could, mentally and physically, to make her way in this world and take care of those less fortunate than herself – especially unwanted animals.
Cathy’s beloved companion pet “Blind Arno” has been adopted by a good friend so her mind is at peace. I am hopeful that you will contribute a few dollars so her friends can share the news that her final wish will be granted. As we continue the struggle for justice and equality, it is important that we take a moment to remember that those who stand up are often themselves struggling.
Please click over to GoFundMe and make a donation of whatever amount you can afford. I hope very much we can raise the $3500 in time to assure her that this time, we’ve got her.
UPDATE: Her friends shared the good news that we reached and exceeded the goal Friday morning. They read the notes to her and she was pleased. It is hard to find the right words to describe how someone responds to finding out their funeral is paid for, isn’t it? Cathy really wants her friends and family of choice to have a party in her honor, a real celebration of her life. They are continuing to accept donations and are discussing using the excess to help people in similar situations. You can read the update yourself if you like.