Cass Power Top Surgery
After three years I have the courage to ask for help for life-changing surgery. I am extremely grateful for any help you can provide.Auckland
Hi, my name is Cass Power. Im 24 years old and live in Auckland, NZ. I am non-binary and use they/them pronouns. I have struggled with gender dysphoria especially with my chest area since going through puberty and gaining breasts. I currently am working towards finishing my masters in Fine Arts and am a practicing artist. I work in lens based media and have a strong background in photography. I enjoy rock climbing and being outside with my friends. This is a give a little page to fundraise for my top surgery (double masectomy).
At the moment, I wear a binder to flatten my chest when I leave the house. I have been doing so for the last three years. The recommendation for binding safely is less than 8 hours at a time with a few days without binding each week. Like most people, I'm out of the house for more than 8 hours most days of the week, meaning that by the time I've gone to uni or done anything else with my day I usually end up in pain. I have a lot of anxiety in what I can wear when binding and it causes a lot of dysphoria. While everyone gets excited for summer, all I feel is that I am fighting against the hot NZ sun with my binding, and am unable to swim as there is no way of feeling comfortable without my binder. I often avoid the beach or swimming altogether.
Binding on its own is damaging in the long run. As time goes on, your chances of developing long term back problems increase. My ribs will deform from the constant pressure on them. The skin on my chest will become less elastic from the strain put on it, impacting my eventual surgery results or ability to get surgery at all. On top of this, I have severe asthma, and the chest compression on top of this makes breathing incredibly difficult, or means I can't bind at all. I can't stress enough how much this is not a case of me disliking my body and being impatient about changing it - I am in a constant battle between my mental and physical comfort all day, every day. Getting surgery would genuinely change my life in a way that is hard to put into words.
It has taken me three years to find the courage to write this. I find huge discomfort in asking for help and money- and if there was any way I could afford this on my own I absolutely would, but currently the amount feels impossible, and makes me feel as if I will never be able to afford it. I'm trying to save as much of the cost as I can but it is expensive and as a student and someone currently unable to work my resources are limited. As a non-binary person, I am not able to access the public funding for top surgery like trans men can, so privately funding this is my only option.
I have received quotes for costs from the surgeons in New Zealand currently performing this surgery. They all range between $15,000 to $18,000. This is not inclusive of consultation fees, which cost at least $500, nor the cost of flights and accommodation needed to travel if the surgery is outside of Auckland.
This is a huge ask and a favour that is enormous. I cant even imagine the positive effects this will have on my mental health by having this surgery and to not be in pain every day. I hope that in the future queer people and youth wont need to feel like burdens when asking for things they need and that these type of procedures will be available publicly. I didn't ask for so long because I didn't feel worthy of such kindness and support. I want to feel good about myself and be in my community and show young queer people that they can be happy and be who they want to be. And help and support those who are going through similar feelings. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you can help.
Use of funds
These funds will go directly to Cass Power for the payment of treatment costs relating to top surgery. This includes consultation fees, surgery costs and any related recovery fees.
I'm wondering if this is even matters. What I say or include and don’t include. I think a photo of me second week post-op after I saw my chest for the first time, kind of says it all. Still a bit swollen, not as clean as I would like to be, but overflowing with joy.
I am now one month post op, I have seen my chest properly still maybe half- a dozen times. if you’d like to know.. Im a lot cleaner and able to take proper showers. I can sleep on my side (tentatively). I can wear a t-shit. <I almost caps locked that one, because its very exciting). I can feel the fabric of said t-shirt touching my sternum as I write this. I feel like me! And low key kind of hotter. I haven’t felt this in my entire life.
Despite this, there have been some really hard times, and sore ones. First week, I couldn’t do much apart from sleep. And then not sleep. Emotionally it was also very draining. I don’t think I have cried so much. Not only sadness and pain, but joy and overwhelming relief. My actual hate for my drains, but we luckily parted ways after one week. And adapting to not being able to reach a single thing in the house. Or reaching it, and dropping it. Stretching too far and being sore all night.
Taylor. Thank you for your patience, your alternative ways to hug me when we cannot, opening every door for me, the showers and adjusting my pillows 100 times a night and then giving me your own.
I want mostly to thank everyone collectively. You all changed my life and helped me through this. It’s something quite unique and special and I am so glad to have been able to share it with you all. I can’t really say much more, only many other ways to say thank you and that I couldnt have done it without you. You’re all my heroes.
Maybe i’ll post something again after my 3 month app, but if not, you’ll be seeing me around. Maybe at the beach for a swim in the summers to come.
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This page was created on 9 Jun 2019 and closes on 10 Jun 2020.