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Samantha Arthur is on a mission to find financial support for women who need a breast reduction.

WARWICK SMITH/Stuff

Samantha Arthur is on a mission to find financial support for women who need a breast reduction.

A Palmerston North woman crowdfunding for a breast reduction now has enough donations to get the life-changing surgery before Christmas.

Samantha Arthur says she cries in disbelief when she attempts to put into words appreciation for the strangers who banded together to change their life.

Donations from more than 100 people all around the world catapulted her Givealittle page to $9000 within 12 hours of her sharing her story with stuff in April.

“Everyone has completely changed my life and seeing all these people come forward was so emotional.

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“So many people connected with it, either as a personal story for them, or someone they know that is going through it.”

Exhausted and let down, Arthur said she shared her story to raise awareness after attempts to have the surgery through the public health system failed.

Diagnosed with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome, her 14 double G breasts added to her daily discomfort, leading to excruciating pain in her chest, back, neck and hips.

Believing a breast reduction would alleviate her symptoms, Arthur spent a decade trying to find a doctor that would grant her request for a referral.

When she finally did, Palmerston North and Hutt hospitals denied the surgery.

Left with no choice, Arthur decided to save the money needed to go private, and a friend suggested starting a fundraising page to help towards the cost.

Arthur said she had been overwhelmed with supportive messages and donations from other women who had a similar experience.

“It varied so much, some told their own stories of having the surgery and it changing their lives, while others felt let down by the public health system too and were going through the same thing.”

Samantha Arthur was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from women who shared similar experiences all over the world.

WARWICK SMITH/Stuff

Samantha Arthur was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from women who shared similar experiences all over the world.

She watched on in disbelief when the fundraising page rose from $100 to $9000 in a matter of hours, with many leaving tales of similar experiences.

A donor from America said she shared Arthur’s psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, and her own health insurance could not cover the cost to reduce her 16 double D breasts.

“I understand your pain, so I hope my little bit helps. I will celebrate with you when you reach your goal.”

Others said they were donating because they also had to self-fund surgery and wanted to support Arthur.

“You will not know yourself. The ability to move without thinking is very liberating.”

One person thanked Arthur for making visible the “appalling” medical responses to women’s health issues.

“You should not have had to fight this hard… good on you for not giving up for what you deserve.”

Arthur is now booked in for an assessment with Hamilton plastic surgeon Winston McEwan on August 22. She hoped to have surgery the following week.

“I’m really hopeful that everything goes well and I can get everything done in the one trip to Hamilton. But, either way, it’s looking like I will have this done before Christmas.

“This would have never been possible without all the people who supported me and understood how much this would change my life.”

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