About $700,000 has been donated to a GoFundMe page established by the late Christian apologist and author Nabeel Qureshi.
Just two days after the 34-year-old Qureshi passed away, the proceeds from the crowdfunding account he set up earlier this year have exceeded $698,000, as of Monday afternoon. Over 5,000 donations have been made to the account in a four-month timespan.
Qureshi, a former speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries who was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer last August, died on Saturday, weeks after his stomach was removed due to severe bleeding and after cancer had spread to his liver.
On May 19, Qureshi established a GoFundMe page to help him pay uncovered medical costs. The caveat with any leftover money in the case of his death would be that the funds would go to his wife, Michelle, and baby daughter, Ayah. Qureshi stated in a YouTube video that he was hopeful that in the case of his death, the funds could be used to pay for his daughter's education.
Qureshi initially set a goal to raise $1 million, stating that he wasn't sure how much money he would need to raise because his health insurance was set to expire at the beginning of 2018. Additionally, he was concerned that his health insurance wouldn't cover expensive immunotherapy treatments, which he said could cost up to $20,000 per dose.
Qureshi's GoFundMe quickly raised over $250,000 in the first two weeks and donations kept flowing in over the final four months of his life. Well over $100,000 has been donated to the account since Qureshi's passing.
As a way to maintain a source of income, Qureshi also launched a Patreon.com account in order to monetize the video ministry he launched after being diagnosed with cancer. Over $12,000 was donated to that account by 378 people.
Qureshi's last update to his video blog was posted on Sept. 9. In the short video, Qureshi shared the unfortunate news that doctors had "given up" on treating him and that he had been told that his body had entered its "final stages of life." Qureshi's passing came just over a week after his last update.
In May, Qureshi got the opportunity to see and say goodbye to many of his RZIM colleagues at the RZIM itinerant meetings in Atlanta. He also got the opportunity to travel with Zacharias to Malaysia.
Many Christian leaders have expressed their sadness after hearing of Qureshi's passing.
"Because Islam is so much in the sights of the world right now, an articulate and attractive personality like Nabeel was often given a fair hearing. He was also a medical doctor and well studied in theology and philosophy, academic credentials that earned him respect. He was well versed in the faith in which he was raised," Zacharias wrote. "Nabeel held dear the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Old and New Testaments and carried the message of salvation. He said that for years as a young man, he labored and struggled to gain 'righteousness before God' only to find out that righteousness was already found in the cross through Jesus."
Zacharias pointed out that although it is hard to believe that Qureshi is now gone from this world, "he died the same age as Jesus was when his mission was accomplished."
"Nabeel would want more than anything else that we carry the message of Jesus to help change the world," Zacharias wrote. "Only then can we understand that the sad news of Nabeel's death is temporary."