Heather Corinna is an international treasure who has been doing charitable work and alternative education on her own steam for over 20 years. Through Scarleteen, through her book S.E.X, and through her in-person sex ed work with nearly any community that will have her, she helps millions of people a year to move past fear and misinformation to the happy, healthy sex lives we all deserve. No one has done more for the sex education of young people around the world than Heather. And until the ACA was signed into law, she did it all without health benefits, and even often without much pay at all — she has sometimes worked extra jobs just to help fund the work, let alone her own basic needs.
Fewer people have the chance to know this, but she’s also a spectacular human on the personal level. She’s funny and blunt and whipsmart and fiercely loyal, a great cook and a great hula hoop teacher. She will do anything for a friend in need: once she single-handedly rowed us both safely to shore in my inflatable kayak, against the current and wind, when a storm moved in suddenly on the lake we were paddling around and I wasn’t strong enough to get the job done. She also provides some financial support to an aging parent and a very special child. Now she needs us.
Heather Corinna is having a lumbar spinal fusion surgery on March 1, because their spine is messed up in four — yep, count ‘em, four! — different ways, and because they can’t risk waiting any longer to start the whole process of healing from the surgery, and all it will cost, given the ACA may get repealed by those motherfuckers in Congress. These spinal issues are why the normally Tigger-like Heather stopped being able to walk more than a few steps at a time last summer, and are a big player in Heather’s chronic pain, which she has been suffering through (often daily) for many years now.
After the surgery, Heather will probably be in the hospital for just under a week, and will get fitted with a brace she’ll wear for several months while her spine fuses with the metal and bone from her hips put in there during surgery. Then Heather will go home and rest for a couple weeks, then begin the process of physical therapy she will be in for likely the rest of the year.
Within a month or two, Heather should be walking again, far better than now. Within a year and a half, Heather’s spine should be fully healed, and her mobility likely completely regained and her chronic pain may even be mostly gone. Heather will likely then resume to the badass they once were, maybe even better!
(Also, Heather wants me to mention here that they had to quit smoking for this, and wants whatever martyr points that gives them.)
After insurance coverage, and not accounting the cost of insurance itself, we expect the cost to Heather of the primary medical interventions may be around $10,000. On top of that, they’ll have to pay copays for ongoing therapies AND need a month of comp pay, because her Scarleteen salary for the month of March will be going to pay staff substituting for her that month. If it turns out that we raise more than is needed so that at the end of the year, there is a surplus, it will be donated to the Alliance of People with Disabilities for King County, WA
Please give what you can. We need Heather’s work now more than ever, but she is also much more than her work. As anyone who’s had the pleasure of her company knows, she’s a spectacular human who has been caring for others her whole life and now needs our care and support. Right now her chronic pain and the meds required to manage it have her running at very low speed. With your help, we can see that she gets back to full-form, kicking ass, taking names, and being very kind to a ton of young people about stuff that makes others uncomfortable.