NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A local family is using a crowdfunding site that partners directly with hospitals to help pay off medical debt.
Every Wednesday, Ashley Lay takes her daughter, 14-year-old Meredith Lay, to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
"Thankful for the time Meredith and I spend together each week going to the hospital, and I’m thankful so much for the diagnosis,” Lay said. ”That it’s a non-malignant diagnosis, that it has a high cure rate."
Lay said they discovered the tumor a year ago when they went to the eye doctor and something was wrong.
"Her doctor noticed she had swelling on her optic nerve," Lay said.
Shortly after, Meredith was diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma.
"It is a stage one non-malignant tumor, but unfortunately, Meredith’s is inoperable," Lay said.
After dozens of chemo treatments, several MRIs, and five surgeries, Meredith is doing better.
"Now I just really hang out with friends a lot, and I like to paint some," Meredith Lay said.
Her dad, Brad Lay, said the medical bills continue to mount.
"It’s very expensive, it’s probably around $8,000 every week that she goes," Brad Lay said.
A friend at church told Brad about CaringWays, a crowdfunding site that works directly with local hospitals to pay off medical debt so families can focus on nurturing their sick loved ones.
"We’ve just been able to focus on her treatments," Lay said. "It’s been great."
The Lay family is close to meeting their goal on the site, and it means a lot to Meredith.
"I’m thankful for my family and the support that they give me, and that I have such good friends, and such a good community," Lay said.
If you would like to help their family during this time, here’s a link to their site. CaringWays also has a foundation where people can make a year-end donation that’s tax-deductible. If you would like help starting a CaringWays you can reach out to them through their website.