Amanda Kofoed thought she was in the coffee shop to make a video for her GoFundMe page. But just as she started to talk about her cancer diagnosis, a friend stopped and left $100 on her table. It wasn’t long before Amanda realized there was a long line of friends waiting to “drop by” with a donation.
As the Idaho Statesman reports, the mom of four was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October—just three months before she was due to get on her husband’s health insurance plan. Money had been tight for the Idaho family, and the uninsured mom had been reluctant to have the strange lump on her arm checked out by a doctor. Amanda tells the Statesman:
“When I first found out [the diagnosis], I asked if they could delay my treatment until January. That’s really what’s so sad—we were so close.”
The success rate of treatment for Hodgkin’s is good. In fact, Amanda jokingly refers to it as, “winning the cancer lottery.” However, the 30-year-old mom had to drop out of school and quit her job in order to start chemotherapy. Without insurance or the funds to pay for treatment, she was worried about what it could mean for her prognosis.
That’s when the Boise Praynksters got involved.
While Amanda taped her video, the Praynksters, a group dedicated to creating surprising acts of kindness, organized the best kind of flash mob. Friend after friend entered the coffee shop and dropped a one hundred dollar bill on Amanda’s table. Before long, the line stretched out the door and around the block.
Amanda was overcome by the gesture. She tells the Statesman:
“I saw people I hadn’t seen in years. They were crying and we were crying.”
In the end, more than 200 people joined in, raising more than $12,000 for Amanda’s medical costs. She says the generosity has helped relieve her fears about affording treatment.
Amanda tells the Statesman she isn’t used to the attention, but recognizes that it’s not just about her:
“One thing I’m learning is that I’m feeling really unworthy of all of this … like there are probably people out there more in need than I am. But people want to love us, and it’s a blessing to let them be a part of it in this way. It’s not as much about me as other people’s goodness and generosity.”
Amanda knows that she has a long road ahead, but is feeling more optimistic about her diagnosis. She’s looking forward to the day when she can go back to school and get her teaching degree.
In the meantime, she and her family say that the outpouring of support means more to them than the money. Amanda tells the Statesman that it’s really an indication of “God’s love”:
“We knew when things got hard we had people to help us. The financial support is wonderful and relieves a huge burden, but the community support is so much more for us.”