Mom Sets Internet Ablaze With Final Act Of Kindness For Strangers

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A 38-year-old woman was dying and decided to announce her own death via social media. “If you’re reading this, it means I have passed away,” she wrote. “I’m so sorry, it’s horsesh*t and we both know it.” She also set the internet on fire by planning one final, touching act of kindness for strangers.

Casey McIntyre
Casey McIntyre (Credit: Instagram)

Casey McIntyre announced her own death in a heartfelt social media message she wrote to inform friends and family that she knew how “deeply” she was loved. “A note to my friends: if you’re reading this it means I have passed away,” her devastating Instagram post began. “I’m so sorry, it’s horsesh*t and we both know it.”

The touching message was followed by a series of images of the Brooklyn mother smiling while surrounded by loved ones, particularly her husband, Andrew Gregory, and their 18-month-old daughter, Grace. “I loved each and every one of you with my whole heart and I promise you, I knew how deeply I was loved,” she revealed, adding that the last five months she spent in home hospice with her family and friends were “magical.”

Gregory disclosed that the post unfortunately had to be cut short because of her deteriorating health. “Casey meant to finish this post with a list of things that were a comfort and a joy to her during her life, and I am heartbroken that I will never see that list,” he wrote. Gregory presumed that his wife of eight years would have included their “daughter Grace, whales, ice cream, her beloved friends, being at the beach, her niece and nephews, her beloved parents and sister and their amazing extended family, swimming, a perfect roast beef sandwich, and me, her sweet sweet honey.”

The post rapidly went viral, garnering thousands of likes and hundreds of heartfelt comments. “Oh Casey!!!! I don’t know how we will do it without you but we will,” Gregory said. Casey and Gregory married in 2015, and in 2019, she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer while receiving IVF treatment. Grace, the couple’s daughter, was born in April 2022.

Casey McIntyre was determined that her tragic death would not be in vain. She devised a plan that would help strangers and encouraged others to join her. “To celebrate my life, I’ve arranged to buy up others’ medical debt and then destroy the debt. I am so lucky to have had access to the best medical care at [Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center] and am keenly aware that so many in our country don’t have access to good care,” she wrote with a link to her donation page.

The McIntyres partnered with RIP Medical Debt — a New York-based non-profit organization that buys medical debt at cost to relieve patients’ looming payments. Casey created her own campaign to unburden strangers of their mounting financial woes. “Through the charity RIP Medical Debt, we are buying others’ medical debt and destroying it,” her husband Andrew Gregory explained in her obituary posted to Instagram.

Gregory added, “Every penny buys approximately $1, which is an eye-opening look at both our power to eliminate medical debt and how fictional and made up so much crushing medical debt is.” Those who were moved by Casey’s story appreciated her final act of goodwill. Overnight, the fund had raised more than $100,000.

Casey was a caring, family-oriented mother and publisher at Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House that publishes novels for children and young adults, according to her husband. Her story originally broke many people’s hearts around the world when her social media posts revealed her passing.

Her family lovingly remembered that she “always knew what bodegas had the best magazine selections, what restaurants were best for spotting celebrities on her lunch break, and gave every new New Yorker the advice: make sure you buy a coat that covers your butt, because that’s where you lose a lot of warmth.” They also added that “her greatest gifts and joys were her ready and generous wit, her easy laugh, her devotion to her family and friends, and her astonishing determination and grit.”

Casey McIntyre was treated by a “top-notch” NYC medical team and was especially thankful for her “nurses, who for better or worse, told her that she could check in and then wait to start chemo while dining on a shrimp cocktail at P.J. Clarke’s.” Casey made the most of her brief existence. Her generous character demonstrates that she did not wallow in self-pity in her final days. Instead, as she lost her battle with cancer, her emphasis shifted to absolute strangers in need.