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Lend 4 Health: Loans for Biomedical Autism Treatment

Lend_a_handBy Tori Tuncan

Simple Yet Powerful, Lend 4 Health Facilitates Online Loans for Biomedical Treatment.

“We did the blood draw, but the lab won’t run the test until we pay upfront.”

“I want to start biomed, but the DAN! is $400 an hour and insurance won’t cover it.”

“Insurance will pay for OT, but we have to pay for the evaluation out of pocket.”

These are some of the things I was hearing on online forums from parents pursuing the biomedical approach for their kids. I also heard things like:

“I used to be a professional [xyz] but had to quit to take care of my son.”

“We have four kids on the spectrum and work as many overtime hours as we can.”

“My husband just left me, and I can’t finish what I started with biomed.”

“We sold our car.”

“We put it all on credit cards.”

“We withdrew our retirement savings.”

Those of us who have started the biomedical approach know that it works. We also know it is expensive. We juggle bills. We sell stuff on eBay. We start blogs and sell Google ads. We hold garage sales. We scrimp. We forego haircuts and stylish clothes.

In short, we get creative.

Simple Yet Powerful

I started Lend 4 Health  on just such a creative whim late one night at the end of June, moved by comments like these and inspired by the micro-lending site Kiva.org. My basic thought was this . . . If YOU are struggling at your house and SHE is juggling at her house and HE is stressed at his house, why should we do it alone? Can we help each other somehow? Not just with online sympathy and advice but with online dollars?

And if YOU were getting coffee with HER tomorrow, and SHE was $1 short, would YOU lend it to HER?

And if SHE was pursuing the urine testing just like YOU did last month, but SHE was $100 short, could YOU lend HER $10?

And what if HE also lent HER $10?

And what if maybe I lent HER $10?

And before you know it, SHE has her $100, and her kid gets the test.

Of course, SHE would pay US back. And maybe when YOU got your $10 back, YOU would lend it to ME.

This is the basic idea of Lend 4 Health – community-based “micro loans.” A few bucks here and there soon become a lot, and, as it is lent and repaid, it can get lent and repaid again. Maybe your $10 can help move these kids out of the world of autism and into the world of recovery? And as these kids recover, their parents get back to the workforce . . . their need for costly supplements decreases . . . their stress diminishes . . . their marriages strengthen . . . their retirement funds grow . . . and . . . what do you know? They have a few extra bucks to lend to another child just starting out on the biomedical journey.

How It Works

Just like you are reading this article here on Age of Autism, you can go over to Lend 4 Health  and read about five children who have autism. You can look at their pictures and read where they are on their biomedical journey. You can also see what their parents need help with, how much money they need to borrow, and when they want to pay it back. If you are so moved by a particular child, story, or need, you click on a button below that child’s profile. You are taken to PayPal  where you enter in how much you want to lend for this child, and you click. It’s up to you to decide who you lend to and how much.

Your loan is added to other people’s loans until that child’s loan request is fulfilled. The parents sign a promissory note for the loan, and the money is sent to them via PayPal. Then, according to their repayment terms, the loan is repaid and you receive your original loan amount back. You can stick it back in your wallet, or you can lend it to another child.

How Does Loan Requesting Work?

Parents fill out a form with their child’s name, diagnosis, age, etc, as well as the amount of money they need and what they would use it for. They also state the repayment terms they are comfortable with. I check out the request and make sure it fits within the parameters of the site. I contact the parents and ask for pictures of their child, and I contact the references they listed in the form. I do what I can to find out whether or not this parent, this child, and this biomedical need are real. Once there is a “space” available for a new request, I push a button and the post goes live so you can see it.

Stay Tuned . . .

Lend 4 Health is brand new. I am ironing out kinks as I go, and I am gaining new insights as I talk to loan requestors and their lenders. There is a possibility that the site could catch on and grow. There is a possibility that it will move from a blog to a “dot org” website. There is a possibility that biomed-friendly companies will match loans. There is a possibility that Lend 4 Health will become a non-profit. And there is even a possibility that Lend 4 Health will expand to facilitate loans for other needs like cancer, AIDS, or schizophrenia.

The success of Lend 4 Health is fully dependent upon YOU – your interest in lending a few bucks to a like-minded stranger – and on the parents who borrow your money – will THEY pay it back? Without the success of these two elements, Lend 4 Health is nothing but an empty blog, and I continue on with my job, my kids, my house, my GFCFSFEF diet . . . and, oh yeah, my two other blogs!

Tori Tuncan was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She majored in Psychology and Women’s Studies at Bates College and is now a full-time government consultant in the Washington, DC, metro area. She was quite the world traveler before “that motherhood thing” took hold and has at one time or another learned six languages. She enjoys snuggling with her kids, drinking coffee and watching movies with her hubbie, and laughing with friends. She has two other blogs – Tori’s GFCFSF blog  and The GFCF Poop blog .   

Please send your link - your video, news clip or story can make a difference for families living with autism today.

Lee_silsby_no_tagine_2   The "Treatment" category is sponsored by Lee Silsby, the leader in quality compounded medications for autism.

Comments

Tori Tuncan

Hi all, fellow blogger and AoA reader, Jeanne, has come up with a great idea on her blog, Charlie in Wonderland (http://www.charlieinwonderland.com). She's calling it "Lincoln Loan Days" and she's asking people to make a very small, very manageable $5 loan on Lend4Health between now and Wednesday. She's calling it a "blitz" and the idea is to get enough people loaning small amounts to make a big impact on the site. So far, 10 loans of $5 have been made in response to Jeanne's call to action, and that equals $50. Small impact on you; big impact on another family and their road to recovery. (and remember, it's a loan, so you'll get your $5 back!)

I thought it was a cool idea and wanted to make sure word got out.

Thanks, Jeanne, and thanks to everybody for all their great words of encouragement and support for Lend4Health! :)

Tori
http://lend4health.blogspot.com

Roni Piterman

Congratulations Tori. This article is fabulous. I wish you and Lend4Health tons and tons of success. With organizations like yours and mine, we should be able to help a lot of families with biomed for many years to come.

Roni
www.gfMeals.com - Your source for GFCF entrees, sides and baked goods shipped to your door

Jack

I can't tell you how many times I've heard my wife read me one your posts on the various messages boards. From your struggles with GF play-doh at your son's school to pictures of poop. Although I don't know you at all I feel some kind of pride to see you doing something so great for our community.

Thank you, and we'll be pitching in soon (it would be sooner if we hadn't just run through our alottment of OT visits for the year- but that's what it's all about).

Angie

Thanks for posting this article and thank you to Tori for starting it!
Thanks to all of you who have loaned money to our family so far and the others on the site....Its a sad day when insurance wont cover treatments that are successful for our children...until that day comes I feel so blessed to have found my 'online' family and friends to help us out, and you better bet that once we are able to, we will be helping others too! This is a great thing, and I just know its going to be HUGE! Thanks everyone!
Angie
Mom to Ethan, Alex, and Megan

Sarah- Waking Sophie

Great idea Tori! It is about time that someone came up with a way to find funding for parents who are not going the traditional route that insurance pays for.

Cathy R.

Tori is awesome and she's giving us all a chance to be awesome too. All my extra change that doesn't go to our doctor bills will go to Lend4Health.

Lisa Sigismondi

Tori has started something wonderful and so long overdue. Now the only question is 'why didn't anyone think of this before?' I'm very excited to see this featured on my favorite news source.

I have loaned to lend4health and hope to see many more kids and families get the help that they need. After all, we in our rapidly growing community are pretty much left to fend for ourselves in our efforts to recover our loved ones. I hope that changes someday but for now Tori's blog is filling a very real need.

Lisa
Mom to 2 ASD darlings

Jenn Neddo

I'm Arthur's mom, an amazing 9 year old with autism. We just got a loan through Lend 4 Health and for us a couple of dairy farmers it's a huge help. It will pay for tests insurance won't cover as well as some probiotics to help with yeast issues that our DAN doctor recommended. The day I learned Arthur had been accepted I spent all day crying because finially there were people who were willing to help us! ---Jenn

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