Would you let a stranger on the Internet pay for your breast surgery?
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all popular social networking sites where people from across the country gather to share funny videos, links and pictures with their close friends and colleagues. But what if there existed a site that connected users to women requesting funds for cosmetic surgery?
Surgery for sale
While certainly an unconventional entrepreneurial idea, one company has crafted such a networking platform, connecting women who want breast augmentation surgery to potential financial donors on the Web. The website, myfreeimplants.com, pairs women who want surgery with men who are willing to pay. Women over the age of 18 can create a free profile complete with a picture, an information section and the type of breast implant they hope to receive, either saline or silicone. Potential donors can also create profiles, but they are not eligible to receive funds; in fact, they must purchase credits if they want to contact women.
According to Fox News, thousands of women have signed up to receive funds, and tens of thousands of men have joined and contributed to surgeries. Every time a woman receives a message, she earns $1 from the site. Since 2005, more than $8 million has been raised for women in need, the site claims.
One implant recipient told Fox News that she was grateful for her funding, but it was not easy to receive.
"It's free, but you do have to put a lot of time and energy into the Web site - contacting friends, writing the people on the site," she said.
Credentials from the co-founders
Co-founder Jason Grunstra created the platform in 2005 after he and a group of friends collected their money to pay for breast augmentation for a woman they met in Las Vegas. After discovering how easily they could pool money among their friend group, he launched the site to help women around the country who needed surgery but could not afford it or obtain a loan.
While some people may be appalled at the thought of trusting a networking site to pay for surgery, co-founder Jason Moore told WFTX Fort Meyers that interested parties should know that software prevents users from taking advantage of funds or connections, and any person in breach of the contract is removed from the site. Additionally, the site features a list of board certified surgeons, emphasizing that women should only trust well-researched and renowned doctors to perform surgeries.
Money raised is not paid to users - the funds are sent directly to surgeons prior to the operation.