‘An Arm And A Leg’: Tradition Grows Into $1 Million Gift For People In Medical Debt

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Every yr — for many years — the Buehler household and pals have organized a softball tournament within the Cincinnati, Ohio, space to boost cash for somebody with large medical bills.

“It’s like a holiday for us in the family,” Ed Buehler, 40, stated. “You know, another one that just happens to come in July.”

The event began in 1980 as a fundraiser for Ed’s dad, Denny Buehler, who was battling leukemia and wanted to journey to Seattle for therapy. The event usually raises about $10,000 annually.

“I don’t want to say $10,000 is not a lot of money,” Ed Buehler stated. “But life is hard, and when something’s gotten in your way, $10,000 doesn’t go really, really far.”

In 2019, impressed by RIP Medical Debt, the Denny Buehler Memorial Foundation took on a brand new undertaking. The basis determined to purchase up previous medical debt — at pennies on the greenback — to repay $1 million in debt for neighbors within the Cincinnati neighborhood.

In early December, the inspiration met its fundraising objective and has plans to maintain going.

This story has all of it: softball, beer, late-night TV host John Oliver and a punk-rock singer turned Girl Scouts mother. And victories … for scores of people that had carried previous debt for years.

Season three is a co-production of Kaiser Health News and Public Road Productions.

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