Help Fund Lola's Surgery

For: Lola
London, England, United Kingdom
Organizer: Lola
£4,465
of £6,400 goal.
Raised by 254 donors
69% Complete

The Story

Who I am

My name is Lola. I was born with a disorder that means I can't make certain hormones. Among those are testosterone and oestrogen. Doctors decided to give me sex hormones so I would develop "normally". Due to excessive bullying, I wanted this.

Now, my body causes me significant psychological distress. My chest is very uncomfortable and it just doesn't feel right. This is not just because of the size and physicality. It's also because it feels out of line with my agender identity.

Why I'm doing this

For the last five years, I've tried every way possible to get chest correction surgery on the NHS. I have tried going through several GPs who say my chest is not large enough. I've even gone through a Gender Identity Clinic, who have discharged me. They have basically said because I won't change my name, that I am not serious about it. And I'm now facing another 15 month waiting time should I request to be re-referred.

Even if I were to get referred for a reduction surgery through my GP, I may have to be psychologically assessed. This process can sometimes take more than a year. I just can't wait anymore.

I do not have the financial means to fund this myself. Saving the money would take another 2-3 years. And it would drain the rest of my savings, leaving nothing for even the possibility of starting a family. I am not on speaking terms with either of my biological parents. What little family I do have are poor or working class. Getting a loan is not very likely, as I've yet to even be able to get a credit card as an immigrant.

What this would mean for me
I have been pursuing this for more than five years, though I've been very uncomfortable with my chest for longer. Getting my surgery would mean the world to me. It would mean that I would feel right in my body. It would mean that I could exercise without pain. It would mean relief. And it would mean no more tight sports bras and binders that cut into my skin and make hot days unbearable.

It would also mean that maybe agender people are taken a bit more seriously by gender identity clinics across the world. It would mean that people could see agender dysphoria and discomfort as something that needs to be addressed.

How you can help
Donate. Even if it's just £5, that's enough. Even if it's £3. Thus far I've had donations ranging from £3 to £100. Every little bit counts.

If you absolutely can't donate, please share this! The more people who see it, the better.

Other ideas include doing an event to raise money, doing a collection in the workplace, offering a service you do in exchange for a donation to my campaign. Any of it works. Unfortunately, I can't offer material rewards without this being seen as a material service that's taxed.

Please do what you can and email me if you have any questions.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on July 15, 2016 by Lola
Result!

Three years ago, I starting making the first initial pushes toward trying to fundraise for my surgery. My first surgery fundraiser wasn't widely publicised and it made about £200, which wasn't nearly enough. I was really scared to talk about it in any way publicly.

I went through a GIC and that did more harm than good. I've tried appealing to two boroughs, none of which seem to be interested or care about my plight.

But now, finally, thanks to this fundraiser and thanks to finding a clinic that can offer me a payment plan and sorting out everything I need in terms of my personal and work life, I can get my surgery.

Sometime mid-December, pending some contact with the clinic, I will be finally getting what I've been waiting for this long, long time.

It doesn't feel completely real at this point, but I'm betting when I make the deposit for the surgery, it will start to feel a bit more real.

I'm still going to be fundraising for the full amount here because, after all of the costings as well as the interest from the payment plan, I'll owe more than I raise here, so I'm going to keep trying, but for now, I greatly appreciate everyone's support and help.

I can't really express to you how much this means to me and what a weight it will take literally off of my chest but also mentally. I'll be happy to update closer to the time and let people know how I get on afterwards.

Thank you.

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Lola
I got a few donations this week, but things have been going pretty slow. I'm giving a talk this evening at LUSH about the history of Pride and I'm hoping it might spur a few more donations, but if you can help by spreading the word, that'd be great. I've got just £1,998 left to raise to fully fund it and if I can fully fund it before the end of the summer, I could definitely book it without having to enter into a payment plan!

If there's anything you can do to get it out there, I really would appreciate it. I understand there's so many fundraisers out there, so many people asking for help and it can be overwhelming, but if there's anything you can do, I'd appreciate it.

Posted on May 30, 2016 by Lola
I'm just adding £15 more to my fundraiser from the DIY Zine fest I attended. I sold 5 zines!

I still have plenty more though, so if you'd like to buy a zine & donate, do so here: http://feelingsrehab.neocities.org/

Thanks!
Lola

Posted on May 19, 2016 by Lola

I appreciate everyone donating. It's been more than a year since I started and I'm *really* close to getting what I need. Way closer than I was the last time I did this, so thank you.

I'm now in the process of officially complaining to the GIC and asking what the criteria is for non-binary people to get surgery and -why- I was denied. Specific reasons. I'm hoping to have some sort of answer next week because there's a chance the GIC can't even actually physically GIVE me a referral for a reduction.

Which means I wasted two years thinking that I could have got my surgery there for absolutely no reason and it's just preposterous.

There are a lot of things going positively in my life now, which I appreciate, but I would really like to have my surgery this December. I've considered going out of the country to have it, but I'm a little too worried that I could end up with major complications and be unable to see a doctor who could help me. I need to have an appointment with my endocrinologist about my condition before I can say for sure whether or not I'm able to go out of the country. A friend of mine had theirs done out of the country but developed some problems. It can be almost 3x cheaper, but is it worth the cost if something goes wrong? I'm not sure.

But, if I raise the money here, I don't need to worry about this. I know that £2k is still a lot more to raise, but this is something that's really important to me. I realise it's an awkward subject to bring up to people, but if there's absolutely any way you can help, even if you can't give yourself, I would really appreciate it.

This means SO MUCH to me. I might consider trying to get it funded through another borough since I've recently moved, but it's feeling quite impossible. I wish I didn't have to ask for this from anyone, but I really don't have any other options.

If you can share or give anything, I really appreciate it.


Posted on April 5, 2016 by Lola
It's been about a year now since I began fundraising and it's been a difficult process. I've had a lot of different types of media exposure which is a huge double edged sword. A lot of people make the assumption that I enjoy or want to publicly fundraise for my surgery, but that's the furthest thing from the truth. Fundraising has been my only option.

I got a letter yesterday confirming that my borough won't fund a reduction because basically my chest isn't large enough and I'm not thin enough. Psychological factors aren't one of the things they care most about and if you want to be considered for that, there's an even longer process for assessment and whose to say at the end of even more waiting, I will be seen as psychologically desperate enough. I'm not sure what the criteria of that would be. Even though my current therapist wrote a letter in support, they won't consider funding it unless it meets their specific undefined criteria of psychological need.

A friend of mine has gone to the Czech Republic to get the same surgery and it only is costing them £2,200. I'll have to spend a bit more money on a hotel or BNB so I can stay there for three weeks to recover, but I plan on investigating this option with my endocrinologist. Going outside of the country for surgery is an option a lot of transgender people have to resort to, but it's always been something I've considered impossible for me. With my condition, I will need replacement cortisol during my surgery and I'm not sure what other risks can be imposed. I'm immuno compromised, but I did have all of my wisdom teeth removed without needing any replacement cortisol during the surgery - although this will be be a much more major surgery than that. I plan on discussing this with my endocrinologist at the end of April and seeing if this is a viable option for me. If it is, I will contact them and see about booking the surgery towards Christmas. I'll likely have enough money now thanks to everyone to afford that procedure.

I'm also going to be featured in some other media outlets soon with a large audience, so if I do manage to fund my surgery for the full price listed here, I'll stay in the UK and still book it around the same time. Or if my endocrinologist doesn't advise me leaving the country, I might go with the clinic I've already had a consultation with that offers a payment plan so I can at least get my surgery done this year.

I really appreciate all of the support everyone's given me thus far. It's been really difficult over the past year to have to continuously push this to everyone and get out there to try and get more exposure just to get it funded. It's hard work. And it's not really something I enjoy talking about all of the time. Thank you for being kind enough to donate to me and for supporting me this past year.

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Lola
Here be the perks!

I decided to take down my SquareSpace site after reading this story about SquareSpace's racist mistreatment of an employee. I'll be hosting the perks here instead.

If you're interested in getting a perk for donating a certain amount, please contact me via the fundraiser and we can arrange the donation and the perk. The perks are:

Again, send me a message if you'd like to get a perk and we can sort out a donation.

Otherwise, please continue to spread the message where you can!

Thank you,

Lola


Posted on February 27, 2016 by Lola
Perks!

I've finally got a perks site up and going! There's lots of really great things to purchase if you're interested and every amount, save for processing fees, goes to this fundraiser. So check it out:

https://helplola.squarespace.com/

Thank you,
Lola

Posted on December 1, 2015 by Lola
I'm posting an update to my fundraiser to get it going again! Sorry folks. I've had a lot to do with this. I'm trying to get a potential sponsor for my surgery. So if you're a plastic surgeon in London and are interested in me writing about my experience with you, do get in touch! Otherwise, feel free to spread this around if you can.

Posted on November 18, 2015 by Lola

Hello everyone. I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that I've had my first consultation with a private surgeon. It seemed like they're willing and can do my surgery and they have financing options.

The bad news is that it's a bit more than just 4k. It's around £5,650 and with fees from funding coming on top of that, I have to increase my total once again to £6,400. It's unfortunate, but it's the way it goes sometimes. I'm not sure what else I can do to keep pushing this out, so if you can share it with friends, that'd be great. I know I have at least 5k people, if not more, within my networks. And if all of those people gave just £2, I could afford this. So please do what you can.

Thank you,
Lola


Posted on October 15, 2015 by Lola
Good news! I've managed to find someone who can do a reduction in London for around £4k. I think I'm likely going to go with this clinic, but I'll need a bit of help to go over the home stretch. I've put it at £4,500 to compensate for the fees charged by PayPal.

If you could help me get over that home stretch, I would really appreciate it! I'm very close to my goal.

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