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Before dying, she made a fund to cancel others' medical debt — nearly $70M worth

Casey McIntyre (right) Andrew Gregory (center) and their daughter, Grace.
Evan Gregory
/
Andrew Gregory
Casey McIntyre (right) Andrew Gregory (center) and their daughter, Grace.

Casey McIntyre wanted her legacy to be clearing medical debt for others. But her husband Andrew Gregory says they never dreamed it would get this far.

Who is she? McIntyre was a mother, wife and publisher at Penguin Random House.


What did she do? Inspired by the philanthropy of others, McIntyre and Gregory orchestrated what they called a "debt jubilee" in her honor.

  • They set up a fund with the nonprofit group RIP Medical Debt, which buys up debt for millions of dollars at a time at a fraction of the original cost. The group says that for every dollar it recieves in donations, it can relieve about $100 of medical debt.

  • Here's McIntyre's own explanation via X (formerly Twitter):

  • The post went viral, gaining thousands of likes and impressions on Instagram and X.
  • At the time of publication, the fund has received more than $680,000 of the nearly $700,000 goal — which equates to almost $70 million in medical debt for Americans across the country.
  • RIP Medical Debt buys the debts just like any other collection company, according to NPR's Yuki Noguchi. But instead of trying to profit from them, they simply notify people that their debts are cleared.


Want to learn about another woman's lasting legacy? Listen to Consider This on the life and work of Rosalynn Carter.


What's her husband saying? Gregory spoke with All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro about his wife's life and legacy.

On what she was like:

On how they came to this decision:

On how many people they've helped:

So, what now?


Learn more:

The interview with Andrew Gregory was conducted by Ari Shapiro, produced by Mia Venkat and edited by Matt Ozug. contributed to this story

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manuela López Restrepo
Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.