Between silent auction proceeds and donations Saturday, the Jason Bush Fund raised more than $12,500 for Jason Bush, a CSU graduate student recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Maureen McNamara and Meaghan Bludau, two of Bush’s fellow anthropology students, organized Saturday’s event at Avogadro’s Number for Bush, who was diagnosed with Stage IIIA testicular cancer four days before his health coverage — provided though CSU’s health care partner Summit America Insurance Service — took effect.
CSU requires that graduate students either purchase the university’s plan or have a current insurance package that offers comparable coverage, but because Bush’s condition was discovered before his coverage began, the cancer was considered a preexisting condition and is not covered.
In an interview last week, Bush estimated his hospital bills would run between $30,000 and $50,000 “when all is said and done.”
“We set out to raise an initial goal of $15,000 and we’ve exceeded that,” Bludau said, later adding that prior to Saturday’s event, the Jason Bush Fund had raised $20,000.
When McNamara heard about Bush’s diagnosis and that his insurance had turned him away, she said she felt compelled to do her part in helping cushion the costs.
“This needs to happen, so let’s make it happen,” she said.
In addition to the Jason Bush Fund, the state’s Colorado Indignant Care Program is covering a percentage of Bush’s hospital expenses but does not cover cancer-specific treatments.
“I feel lucky to have people to guide me toward resources,” Bush said. His support network has helped him to “make sense of a big change” in his life, he added.
Bludau said there were “so many hands” that took part in organizing the event but the key players were students and faculty from the Anthropology Department, the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association, which helped organize the silent auction, and the owner of Avogadro’s Number, who donated the space for the benefit.
“The community just really rallied around Jason,” McNamara said.
The group, Bludau said, is waiting to determine whether or not it will continue to plan fundraising events. She said the decision is centered on the results of Bush’s next tests, which he will undergo after Thanksgiving.
“As long as there are medical bills that need to be paid, the fund will be around,” she said.
Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.