9 Investigates

RIP MEDICAL DEBT: Channel 9, nonprofit help wipe away cancer survivor's bills

A cancer survivor had thousands in medical bills wiped away thanks to Channel 9 and the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt.

"Thank you, all I can say," patient Red Clayton said.

Clayton lives in Chester. "I go to church every time the church doors open, but, now, I have fell back since I had this surgery," he said.

He didn't just have one surgery, he told Action 9 he "had five knee surgeries on the right leg. And, when we was working on the right leg, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer."

"I said, 'Doc, we going to beat this.' I said, 'But we not going to do no surgery. I ain't being cut on. I been cut on enough,'" Clayton said. "I put it in God's hands, and he took care of me. Been cancer-free since 2014."

The cancer went away but not the bills. He said he owed about $15,000.

Then last summer, he saw Action 9 talking about its donation to RIP Medical Debt, and that some people would be getting letters in the mail.

[RELATED: Another Channel 9 viewer's medical debt wiped away]

RIP buys people's medical debt for pennies on the dollar and then forgives that debt. So, Action 9 donated enough money to RIP to wipe away $1 million in doctor bills in the Charlotte area. RIP was able to achieve that for nearly 500 people.

"Me and a friend of mine was sitting here watching Channel 9, and it showed the lady on there talking and I said, 'You know, I sure would like have that letter come to me.'" He didn't think it would, but a few months later, he went to his mailbox. "I looked and I saw that Channel 9 up in the corner [of the envelope]. Then I saw the RIP and I said, 'Wow.'  I said, 'God's still looking out for me.'"

It covered his entire bill from Chester Regional Medical Center: $3,904.

"I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's awesome," Clayton said.

A few important points:

RIP chooses whose debt it will erase. Channel 9 has no involvement or say in that part of the process.

It's not something you can apply for.

Action 9 doesn't know who's chosen, unless you decide to contact Action 9.

If you got one of those yellow envelopes, it's not a scam and Action 9 would love to hear from you.

You can help by donating money to erase even more debt for people in the Charlotte area. Find out how you can help by clicking here.