The Internet is changing the way people give to charitable causes. Along with donating to specific causes, those surfing the web give to individuals in need by crowdfunding.
Kaimuki resident Laura Martancik was diagnosed with Hogdkin's lymphoma last August.
With an increasing number of visits to doctors and chemotherapy treatments, the cost to fight her cancer quickly increased as well.
"Cancer is expensive if you have insurance, cancer is really expensive if you don't have insurance. Not only is the treatment expensive, so is the loss of income that comes with it," said Martancik.
So Martancik turned to the Internet, where crowdfunding sites are helping people raise money for specific projects or needs -- like funding a funeral, or caring for an injured and aging cat.
For Martancik, donations from family, friends and even complete strangers help to pay mounting medical expenses, so she can still have some sort of normal life.
"I've been able to pay my rent, have a home. It has really saved everything," said Martancik.
The change in the way people give to individual causes mirrors a change from contributors to Hawaii charities, according to the Aloha United Way, which raises funds for nonprofit organizations.
"We're seeing an increase innumber of donors that want to contribute to a broader cause: education, for example, rather than just a specific agency," said Marc Gannon, with Aloha United Way.
Millions of dollars are donated every year in the islands and many Hawaii donors want to see a "return" on their gift.
"They want to see outcomes and the dollar they give to an organization is going to result in an impact," added Gannon.
For Martancik, the impact gives her strength in her fight against cancer. The funds help when her bank account is low, while the support helps when she is down.
"So many people are behind me, supporting me. So I know I am going to make it, I have to," said Martancik.
Crowdfunding is not just a one-way street. Along with getting updates, each donor also got a personal email from Martancik. She is now preparing for her final round of chemo before beginning a daily dose of radiation during the next month. To see her "gofundme" page, head to: http://www.gofundme.com/4go40s