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Wesley Chapel family struggling with health care gets help from Web site's fundraising campaign



Zimmerman-stein Update: HuffingtonPost reports that more than 800 contributors donated more than $25,000 for Monique Zimmerman-Stein's medical bills. The site has now raised its goal to $30,000.

A Wesley Chapel woman featured in a St. Petersburg Times story on real people struggling to afford medical care, is getting an outpouring of financial support from readers -- more than $15,000 in just 24 hours.

Monique Zimmerman-Stein, 48, and her two youngest daughters have Stickler's syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes joints to dissolve and retinas to detach. Zimmerman-Stein, who is forgoing her own medical treatment so that her family can afford care for their daughters, is now nearly blind.

Zimmerman-Stein and her husband, Gary Stein, have Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance through Stein's job at the Hillsborough County Health Department. They pay $90 a week for coverage. But the insurance isn't nearly enough, and their family gets constant calls reminding them of their medical bills.

"I know I won't ever see again. I'm not even asking for that," Zimmerman-Stein said. "I just don't think we should have to deal with constantly being harassed."

HuffingtonPost featured Zimmerman-Stein's story after the Times published it as part of a three-part series called Maxed Out. Interest from HuffingtonPost readers led the site to launch a campaign for Zimmerman-Stein, and more than 500 contributors have donated, according to the site. HuffingtonPost has raised its goal to $25,000 for the family, and used the story to launch a new section called Impact.

If you would like to help Zimmerman-Stein, visit HuffingtonPost.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:58pm]


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