GoFundMe started by local social media star raises $100K for Medina family that suffered heartbreak

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2024 at 3:37 pm

John and Kelsey Dreisbach and their children are shown during happier times before Mrs. Dreisbach suffered a miscarriage and was hospitalized for septicemia.

ALBION – Diane Shiffer has built an enormous following on social media with nearly 1 million people on both Instagram and TikTok. She uses the hashtag: “YourChubbyVintageNana.”

She shares videos about fashion from a bygone era and her life at home in Albion, often sipping coffee and watering her plants. She spreads messages of kindness and tries to make her huge crowd of followers feel loved.

Diane Shiffer today on TikTok thanked her social media friends for responding in a big way to a GoFundMe effort for a Medina family. Shiffer has about 1 million followers on both Instagram and TikTok.

This week Shiffer did something out of the norm. She asked her social media followers to donate to a family in Medina that suffered a tragic loss.

Shiffer, a retired teacher, has a close friendship with Kelsey Dreisbach, who helps care for Shiffer’s daughter who has Down syndrome and often takes her on fun activities.

Dreisbach and her husband John have two children. They were pregnant with a third child, but Kelsey had a miscarriage and then was hospitalized with septicemia.

Shiffer two days ago shared on Instagram and TikTok about the Dreisbach’s heartbreak and the serious health challenges for Kelsey. Shiffer set up a GoFundMe fundraising account with a goal of $10,000 to help ease the financial strain on the family with Kelsey sidelined from work and her husband needing to work less to help care for the family.

Within 24 hours the GoFundMe was over $90,000. This afternoon, it stands at $99,850 and Shiffer will be turning off the donations button.

The response has stunned Shiffer and the Dreisbach family.

“There will never be words quite sufficient enough to express our gratitude, but we’re going to try,” Kelsey and John wrote on GoFundMe. “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to every single person who has commented, messaged, prayed, or donated. Your support has been life-changing for our family. Not only have you provided financial stability for us, but your kind words have helped us heal. For so many people to pour out love, kindness, and support to ‘strangers’ is nothing short of amazing. More than ever before, we have been shown we are not alone – and that is invaluable.”

Shiffer today went to social media to thank the many donors who contributed, many in amounts from $5 to $25.

Shiffer acknowledged she thought it would take a week or more to reach $10,000. But the GoFundMe quickly passed that goal.

“You have all done such a wonderful thing,” Shiffer said in a video on her social media. “I hope it warms your heart. You can go through the day today knowing what you did helped a precious family and changed their lives.”

Shiffer was recently at the White House in recognition in building up such a following and doing it with wholesome, loving messages. Shiffer has 965,700 TikTok followers and 926,000 on Instagram.

“We are so incredibly grateful to each and every one of you, so humbled and so proud of this incredible community… thousands and thousands of you joined together to support a dear woman and her precious family, and you’ve lifted the burden of financial stress off their shoulders,” Shiffer shared with her social media followers.

In a message to the Orleans Hub, Kelsey Dreisbach said the outpouring of support has been such an unexpected surprise.

“The money has literally changed our lives and allowed us to remove financial worries from the equation for the first time ever,” she said. “And the comments and messages from people all over the world have helped me heal more than I would have ever expected – so many people have made it very clear that we are not alone.”