Help Heather Corinna Recover from Serious Spine Damage

For: Heather Corinna
Seattle, WA
Organizer: Jaclyn Friedman
Help Heather Corinna Recover from Serious Spine Damage (Heather Corinna)
$11,959
of $20,000 goal.
Raised by 216 donors
59% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

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waiting any longer to start the whole process of healing from the surgery, and all it will cost, given the ACA may get repealed by those motherfuckers in Congress.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.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 27, 2017

Posted on March 27, 2017

Hello Team Heather! I'm happy to report that they're recovering, though it's going more slowly than hoped. Right now, they're tapering down painkillers, so experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, and still sleeping a ton and tired a lot. But they can walk around the house now with a walker and a brace! And they're starting PT next week, which will hopefully also come with some massage. Still, the slower recovery pace means they'll be getting back to work more gradually than planned -- which means they need our financial help now more than ever. Can you make a second gift? Can you re-share this fundraiser to your networks with a personal note about what Heather means to you? Heather makes things better for so many people so much of the time. Let's make things better for them now. 

Posted on March 2, 2017

Posted on March 2, 2017

Good news everyone! Heather is out of surgery and recovering in the hospital. Sounds like surgery went very well. Now we have to gather round and support Heather through their long road of healing and recovery. Can you share this fundraiser with your networks today? Tell a little story about what Heather and/or Scarleteen means to you - those personal touches really make a difference. Wouldn't it be great if we were halfway to our goal by the time they got home from the hospital at the end of the weekend?

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