About this fundraiser

We are raising funds for Heather Brown, who is currently receiving treatments at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. These treatments are incurring unexpected medical expenses that Heather and her partner Cameron can no longer afford. 

Several years ago, Heather Brown experienced a life altering event caused by a serious reaction to a common medication that led to hospitalization. In the years since, she has worked hard to rebuild her life and health. Last fall, however, things took a turn for the worse after she experienced a serious case of COVID, and she hasn’t been the same since. After struggling for months with depression, she was diagnosed with a treatment resistant mood disorder along with long COVID. This means that traditional attempts at treatment such as antidepressant medication unfortunately did not help, so she started a series of more aggressive treatments in February. 

There is a stigma around those suffering from mental illness that makes this experience uncomfortable to talk openly about and to ask people for help. In writing this and sharing candidly about the hardship she has faced, Heather hopes to raise awareness and elicit empathy by being transparent about her experience. Heather received a series of 20 electroconvulsive therapy treatments at the treatment resistant mood disorder clinic at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah (https://healthcare.utah.edu/hmhi/treatments/electroconvulsive-therapy). This therapy has helped, but hasn't fully relieved her depressive symptoms, so she is currently undergoing a series of ketamine infusion therapy treatments (https://healthcare.utah.edu/hmhi/treatments/ketamine-infusion) which she will do for the next several weeks. 

This ketamine treatment is not covered by insurance and costs out of pocket $375 per treatment, and is done twice a week. This, combined with what is already owed to the hospital for the ECT treatments, has left them in a situation where they can no longer afford the cost of ongoing treatments.  Any help with this sudden financial burden would be so appreciated, as it has become nearly impossible for Heather and Cameron to keep their head above water.

Because these treatments cause cognitive and memory issues, they require a 24/7 caretaker. Cameron was forced to drop out of his student teaching assignment that was the last of his requirements to graduate as a licensed teacher, and has stayed home for the past three months to take care of Heather. Heather has had to take an unpaid leave of absence from work and is currently on continuous leave with an undetermined return date dependent on her recovery. This has left them in a difficult situation with no income and heavy medical expenses on top of regular living expenses.

Please consider supporting Heather through this difficult time. Your donations will help alleviate the financial strain Heather and Cameron are experiencing and will enable them to focus on what matters most: Heather’s recovery. We are so grateful for your generosity and support and want to thank you for taking the time to read our story. Whether it's through a donation or simply sharing this fundraiser, every small gesture makes a difference. 

Heather spent much of her career fundraising to save premature babies and to help families navigate very difficult situations. Now it’s Heather who needs help and we’re hoping we can rely on the generosity of others to find a way through this challenging time.

Organized by

Cameron Banks

South Salt Lake, UT, USA