Our donors established The Onyx Fund for Women when Natividad physicians shared their concern that a growing number of women couldn’t afford basic surgeries to heal chronic gynecologic conditions.
The fund was inspired by Onix, a woman who put her family’s financial needs before her own health for years. Onix was a mother to a 6-year-old daughter and worked full-time as a housekeeper in Pebble Beach, CA. Before the Affordable Care Act, Onix was one of our nation’s many uninsured “working poor” who didn’t qualify for financial assistance and didn’t earn enough to pay for private insurance.
When Onix’s daughter was born at Natividad by C-section, her doctor found fibroid tumors in her uterus that needed to be surgically removed. Unfortunately, fibroid removal is considered elective surgery even though they can be painful and disfiguring. Onix, like other uninsured patients, had to pay a $3,000 down payment toward the surgery cost before it could be performed—something she couldn’t afford.
After four years of living with pain, bleeding and the fear of not being able to care for her daughter, Onix returned to her doctor with a mass of tumors that made her look 9 months pregnant. Still without insurance and unable to qualify for assistance, it took Onix another 6 months to earn and borrow the $3,000 she needed for her down payment. After her surgery, Onix was able to make a full recovery and return to her life.
The Onyx Fund for Women was established to make sure Monterey County’s women would be able to afford life-changing procedures—procedures that would allow them to live a normal life without pain. Combined with an outpouring of philanthropic support, The Onyx Fund has helped nearly 50 women get the care they need, ending their suffering sooner and putting them on the road to healing.
Today, many of our donors are also proud owners of our custom-designed Onyx necklace—symbolizing their affirmation of women’s power to heal.