Successful Academic - Dissertation Coaching

An Opportunity for Generosity: Assist a fellow academic with mounting medical expenses.


Helping an ABD in need

"Badger" is the pseudonym of an All But Dissertation blogger whose posts I began reading in July. Her daily musings are insightful, interesting, sometimes fun and sometimes poignant. If you're a regular reader, like me, you know that she is coping with the impending death of her young husband from terminal cancer and that she has a twelve-year-old son who is also dealing with the loss.

If you've read Badger's blog carefully, you have also learned about the devastating expense of her husband's medical treatments and about her anger at the injustices of their insurance coverage and the US medical system. I encourage you to read about her challenges in her own words.

When Badger reveals small glimpses of her difficulties and pain, readers of her blog respond with sympathy and concern. "I wish there was some way I could help," many write.

That was my response too. Then I thought of a way I could help: by setting up a PayPal account to help pay for Mr. Badger's medical expenses.

Would you like to help Badger and her family directly?

If so, simply click the button below. You may contribute any amount that you wish – all proceeds go directly into a PayPal account set up for Mr. Badger. I have nothing to do with these mechanics – after you start dealing with PayPal I'm out of the loop. I'll know nothing about how much is contributed or by whom (unless you or Badger choose to tell me.)

Do You Have Questions? Concerns? Doubts?

I got very excited when I thought of this idea. It's way for people to express their concern directly and help concretely. Equally important, it allows Badger to retain her anonymity.

However, when I told my web designer and my husband about my plan, they were wary. They worried, understandably, that Badger's situation might be fake and that she was, in fact, a clever con artist.

"How do you know it's not a scam?" asked my web designer when I proposed the idea.

"I thought of doing this," I said, "It wasn't Badger's idea."

"Still, there are a lot of devious people out there..."

"What if you somehow harm your own credibility," added my husband.

They had a point. I tend to be unusually trusting of people. So I took their advice and checked Badger's story out. Carefully. I've spoken to Badger by phone. I've verified that Badger is a doctoral student and teacher at a legitimate University. I have her "In Real Life" address and non-pseudonymous email account. I've checked out items on her resume. She sent me a local community newspaper article about her husband and his illness. I'm convinced she's for real. He's for real. Their situation is real. Unfortunately.

What has her response been to my offer? Surprise. Gratitude. Some understandable discomfort and bewilderment. (How would you feel if a complete stranger contacted you out of the blue and suggested a way to raise money for you?) But she's very happy to receive donations. Her family has incurred large debts for medical expenses. Costs are mounting. Money is a major source of worry. Anything will help.

So – how can you do your own research about whether you consider this a legitimate cause? First of all, before you contribute a dime, please check out my web site to see whether you think I'm legit. My resume, my phone number, even my work address is available. Also, read Badger's blog and Live Journal entries. See whether you think that she's a real person suffering an unfair tragedy.

Ready to contribute now? I repeat, these funds go directly to a unique, private PayPal account set up by Badger... I will not see, touch or even HEAR your contributions (cha-ching!)

Here is your second chance to click on the donation button:

Whether or not you choose to give money, please allow Badger to maintain her privacy. If you need to ask questions, or complain, or comment, please contact me, not her. There's also a place on my blog to voice your opinions publicly.

Badger has a lot to cope with right now. One of my concerns about this plan is that we'll hassle her more than we help. Please, allow her to continue to use her blog as she wishes – for herself, as a safe venue, and as a space apart from illness and grief when needed. My goal is for this to be our chance to give her a gift without strings or obligations. I expect that many of you will be grateful for this opportunity.

Many of us have already given virtual hugs. She tells me that she greatly appreciates those hugs. Now we can give something more tangible.

Thank you.

Mary McKinney, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Academic Coach

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Aesop’s Fables, The Lion and the Mouse




© 2000 -  Mary McKinney, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved
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