June 1, 2021 (New York, NY) – The Jim Collins Foundation (JCF), a national nonprofit organization with a mission to fund gender-affirming surgeries, is grateful for all the generosity and support of so many individuals and organizations. JCF is delighted to announce that for the second consecutive year, seven (7) surgical grants have been awarded representing the geographic diversity of six (6) states (Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas).
The 2021 grant recipients included five grants from the JCF Founders’ Fund and two grants from the Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy Fund. The JCF Founders’ Fund grants cover 100% of the surgical fees associated with gender-affirming surgery. The Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy Fund grants cover 50% of the surgical fees associated with gender-affirming surgery; the recipient provides the other 50% using their own financial resources.
The JCF Founders’ Fund grant recipients include: Dan Grubb; Danny [pseudonym]; KC [pseudonym]; Maddie (last name withheld); and Tina Tinyton [pseudonym]. The Hembrough Fund grant recipients are Kim and Andrew Williams [pseudonym].
“Each year our board and independent selection committee sits with hundreds of applicants, reviews their situations, and considers their stories,” said Jody Randall, JCF president. “While we wish we could make surgery a reality for all of them, it is a very special moment when we notify several applicants of their selection and become part of their journey stories. On behalf of the Jim Collins Foundation, congratulations to this year’s grant recipients!”
In addition to JCF’s donors, these grants would not have been possible without the commitment to serving the transgender and gender non-binary community by this year’s participating surgeons. JCF is very thankful for the pro bono services of Dr. Christine McGinn (Papillon Center, New Hope, PA), and the generosity of Dr. Alexander Facque (Gender Confirmation Center, CA), Dr. Bryan Rolfes (Omni Cosmetics, Wayzata, MN); and Dr. Hope Sherie (The Cosmetic Concierge, Charlotte, NC). JCF also looks forward to working this year with Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher (Gallagher Plastic Surgery, Miami, FL) and Dr. Lenny Roudner (Miami Plastic Surgery, Miami, FL).
Hundreds of people applied for this year’s grants, demonstrating the continued urgency and financial need. With the addition of this year’s grantees, JCF has awarded a total of 39 grants since 2011. With many of these grants covering 100% of the surgical fees, JCF continues to be a leader in nonprofits providing financial assistance to transgender individuals who otherwise would not have the financial means to access these life-changing surgeries.
Dan Grubb, California, was selected for a Founders’ grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Alexander Facque, California. When asked about the meaningfulness of receiving a grant from the Jim Collins Foundation, Dan stated, “I know now that I will be able to see my reflection, I will live longer, and I will be able to share myself with others in the way that I’ve always wanted to. I am closer to finding comfort and actualizing the presentation of self I have always seen into in my physical reality. I now know these things are possible because I received the JCF grant.”
Danny [pseudonym], Illinois, was selected for a Founders’ grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher, Florida. Speaking about his journey, “This past year I watched, terrified for my own life, as fellow black people were murdered. I lost my job due to COVID and dipped into what little I had in my savings for surgery just to survive. Life felt bleak as the country rioted and fought over whether black lives, my life, mattered. During the initial lockdown, I looked at my wife and told her that I did not think I was meant to have surgery. That same day, I found the Jim Collins Foundation and decided to apply and leave it up to fate. I have always held a special place for fate. It was fate when I met my wife, both of us happened upon the same job after a series of circumstances. My story is full of these little bits of fate, stars aligning in the perfect places like a lock clicking to open a door. This door, the door to surgery, by far is the most life altering door. I have longed for my body to match my soul for over a decade. May 18, 2012 was the day I started hormones. While hormones did so much, they would never change the chest I was born with. I thought that I would have to deal with that chest forever. On May 18, 2021, exactly nine years after I started hormones, the Jim Collins Foundation opened the next door in my transition by awarding me this grant. They gave me the gift of finally having a body to match my soul. Thank you will never be enough. I’m so grateful to add Jim Collins Foundation to my story full of fate.”
KC [pseudonym], North Carolina, was selected to receive a Founders’ grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Hope Sherie, North Carolina. When asked about their life as a transgender person, they stated, “As a Division I college coach in a women’s sport, I look to inspire and empower my athletes; encouraging them to be the best they can be in their truest form. My career is as equally fulfilling as it is financially thankless. But nonetheless, I would not want any other career; this is my passion. While I am coaching unapologetically myself, there is still that small barrier of confidence lacking due to not having top surgery. After years of saving, I have had to redirect those funds toward financial survival due to college sports being on hold. Receiving this JCF grant is nothing short of life saving. I will be able to be my truest self with my athletes which in turn will foster stronger relationships, getting the most out of my athletes. I cannot say enough how much this grant means to me. This gives me an opportunity to be wholly me. The best gift I can give to myself and my athletes.”
Maddie [last name withheld], Minnesota, was selected for a Founders’ grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Bryan Rolfes. When asked about being transgender and pursuing gender transition, Maddie stated, “Being transgender can sometimes mean waiting a lifetime to finally feel comfortable in your own skin. I came out in my early 30s and wanted to move my transition as fast as possible and make up for so many lost years. However, the cost of gender-affirming surgery meant that my transition slowed to a crawl. Receiving this grant from the Jim Collins Foundation for facial feminization surgery means that I can begin my new life much, much sooner than I had planned. As an independent business owner, I am constantly meeting with new clients and customers. The confidence this surgery brings will guarantee a lifetime of success as an independent trans woman! I am so thankful for this grant and the support of the foundation.”
Tina Tinyton [pseudonym], Michigan, was selected to receive a Founders’ grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Christine McGinn, Pennsylvania. When asked about their interests and experience as a transgender individual, Tina stated, “I enjoy reading about Astrophysics, Nature, and about new research and innovations in technology. I often hang out with my friends, play D&D and video games together, as well as be part of the social support structure with them. I spend a lot of my time helping people understand Transgender HRT. Receiving the JCF grant is an opportunity for surgery that I have long thought was impossible for me, and I will finally have that which was only in my dreams. To me this is personal proof that there are good people who are there to support transgender people in need.”
Kim, Florida, received a Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Lenny Roudner, Florida. When asked about receiving this grant from the Jim Collins Foundation, Kim stated, “I am forever grateful that the Jim Collins Foundation has helped me on my journey. Society has seen the Overton Window shift in the last few years to favor the acceptance of transgender individuals in the US. Additionally, science, nature, and medicine have unequivocally affirmed that transgender individuals are valid. I am proud to be part of a new generation of openly transgender individuals that are accepted freely in mainstream society. I am thankful for those who came before me to fight for and support my right to live my authentic self. Transgender people have always existed but our history and identity has been erased. Now is the time for each of us to write our own chapter.”
Andrew Williams, Florida, was selected to receive a Krysallis Anne Hembrough Legacy grant for gender affirming surgery with Dr. Thomas Fiala, Florida. When Andrew was asked to reflect on his journey toward gender affirming surgery, he stated, “While writing this statement, I began to think about the person I was when I applied for the grant. I felt like the whole world was against me and I was just desperately trying to grab for any sort of help I could get. I remember feeling like there was such a tiny chance of receiving a grant and so, so many other trans people in need that I did not know if it was worth applying. I found that it can be easy to fall victim to the fear that you will be stuck in this one body forever. That fear is the thing that keeps you from taking that bright, happy future you deserve. I am deeply grateful for the gift that I have been given. For me, it is more than just a grant for surgery, it is proof that all my reaching was not in vain. It is my goal to pay that gift forward by reaching out to those trans people who feel just the way I did, afraid they will be stuck forever. Our happiness is out there, we just have to keep reaching for it.”
The 2021 grant cycle opened on May 24, 2021. JCF will accept applications through August 1, 2021. Individuals who have previously applied and not been selected are eligible to reapply.
For press inquiries and interviews, contact email@example.com. For more information on The Jim Collins Foundation, grantees, and ways to support this work, visit jimcollinsfoundation.org.
Jim Collins Foundation Board of Directors: President Jody Randall (Texas); Vice President Ezra Young (New York); Treasurer Ryan Rasdall (Massachusetts); Secretary Ava Arnett (Connecticut); Jennifer Gay (Texas); Erin Meyer (New Jersey); Aydin Olson-Kennedy (California); and Xander Rice (Tennessee).