Robert Altmanshofer was already a success story.

In 2017, a timely X-ray identified a bowel obstruction and saved his life. His subsequent recovery became an inflection point. He decided to become a Radiologic Technologist, earned three scholarships to study at YC’s esteemed Radiology Program, graduated with honors and created a scholarship to help others do the same. “I could say ‘thank you’ ‘til I’m blue in the face.” Robert explained in 2017. “But the best way to be thankful is to continue the example of what my donors did.”

Now his story has spawned a marvelous sequel: Fueled by crowdfunding and his own determination, the Robert Altmanshofer & David Moore Radiologic Technology Scholarship is success story, as well — and a hope for aspiring medical professionals for many years to come.

Reaching Out

After graduation, Robert began his new career in Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s Radiology Lab. “I have a great deal of empathy for patients coming through.” He said. As one who nearly died from a congenital bowel obstruction, he can honestly say, ‘I know how you feel.’ “I share a little of my story. It makes them feel better. It’s one of those moments that reminds you, ‘this is why I’m doing this.’”

His scholarship fund had enjoyed modest success at first. “Then I thought, ‘What about Crowdfunding?’” He asked YCF Executive Director Mary Talosi about web-driven platform. “She said, ‘sure, we’ll set it up on our [Just Giving] site. We make you an administrator, post your story and any pictures you want. Then you can send the link to people, who donate online.’ I thought I could raise a little bit of money.”

He hit his initial $3,000 goal in three days. So he doubled the goal, and hit that in 30 days. “We were able to fund two students and that really opened my eyes.” He said. “So I set a really ambitious goal – $30,000 – but knew I couldn’t do it myself.”

Sharing Your Story

Robert never thought of himself as a fundraiser. “Oh no.” He laughed. “My demeanor wouldn’t be suited for that.” But he had a cause, and a story. “I studied professional fundraisers on YouTube. They said, ‘Be authentic and be genuine.’”

He reached out to colleagues at YRMC. “I’d tell them why I’m raising money, and what I’m doing with it.” Fellow radiologic technologists contributed ‘to pay it forward.’ When the scholarship reached $18,000, Robert emailed Chief Executive Officer John Amos. “I told him my story. Told him every scholarship recipient currently works for YRMC. He responded in less than 24 hours with a personal donation, a hospital donation and connections to do more.” Robert’s story ran on YRMC’s website, received coverage in The Prescott Times and the Courier, and more folks contributed. “People at the hospital were coming up, saying ‘Thank you for what you’re doing.’” Now, the Robert Altmanshofer and David Moore Radiologic Technology Scholarship – renamed to include a cherished mentor from the Radiology Program – has raised more than $48,000 for tomorrow’s Radiologic Technologists.

Robert’s mission hasn’t changed. But the goal posts have moved – a lot. These days, he’s working for raise enough money to endow the fund. “Then it will be self-sustaining. Generating scholarships year-after-year … hopefully long after I’m gone.”

An incredible accomplishment, but Robert is quick to share the praise. “It goes to show how generous our community is.” He said. “People here have been so kind. They care about students, education and healthcare – and they’ve made a big difference.”