As a young black girl with a love for ice skating, Dr. Debi Thomas was one of my heroes. Thomas was the first black person to medal in the Winter Olympics, and even after her ice-skating career, she went on to medical school at Stanford University and became an orthopedic surgeon. But apparently Thomas has hit a few bumps in the road of life over the last several years.
Earlier this year, Thomas posted a YouTube video, expressing how her family had hit hard times and were now resorting to GoFundMe to raise money for a new business venture and bills. Thomas stated in her YouTube video that after two years in private practice, she lost her nest egg when she went through a divorce, and her current fiance had his fair share of financial challenges, too.
According to Thomas’ GoFundMe page, the donations will allow “financial stability after severe sudden financial losses over the past couple of years associated with a combination of financially crippling life challenges.”
So far the page has only raised a little over $2,000. If Thomas can’t fix her life, maybe Iyanla Vanzant can?
According to ET, Thomas will appear on OWN’s Iyanla: Fix My Life. Vanzant alludes to possible mental-health issues stemming from Thomas’ bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics, but doesn’t delve much further.
“Her hard truths are that there is possibly some mental and emotional imbalances that have never been addressed,” Vanzant tells ET.
“In her program, she stumbled, but in her mind, she fell,” Vanzant says. “And I think that stumble is where she dropped out and didn’t believe that she had a chance to win.”
It’s a shame to hear that after two years in private practice, Thomas is now resorting to GoFundMe and Vanzant, but hopefully something good will come out of this.