Dawn Wells rose to fame as one of the castaways on the hit 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.” Wells portrayed Mary Ann Summers who started out on a three-hour tour aboard the SS Minnow -- which was blown off course during a tropical storm. The crew and passengers found themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean.

Wells and the other cast members came nowhere close to earning what stars today earn from popular programs. As a result, she has experienced hard times financially.

Wells is not wealthy but she has been enriched by a good friend and fans

Wells, who is now 79, does not have a husband or children. What she does have, however, is a friend who went above board to offer support. Dugg Kirkpatrick created a GoFundMe crowdsourcing campaign to assist Wells following an “unexpected accident” that resulted in hospitalization, as well as IRS penalties from a financial setback suffered during the 2008 market crash, her friend noted.

“After 2008, like many of us, Dawn suffered through the banking crash and lost everything including her life savings.” (NY Daily News). Many fans can certainly relate, while others appreciate the time she spent on television bringing laughter and entertainment to so many.

While healing from surgery, the actress suffered another setback

Wells and Tina Louise, 84, are the sole survivors of “Gilligan’s Island.” Wells was on the road to recovery after a long duration of healing after “major surgery,” according to Kirkpatrick and TMZ. Just as her life was progressing, she suffered a broken knee.

Wells has been facing a huge financial obstacle in moving to a facility that is tailored to former television and movie stars, as well as people who work in the entertainment industry.

With her past debt of $180,000, however, “the facility will not accept her, Kirkpatrick stated.

The financial goal is within reach

With no family and no home to turn to, Kirkpatrick is hopeful that Wells may be able to move at the end of the week. As of 6PM PST, the GoFundMe campaign for Wells raised nearly $85,000 of the $180,000 financial goal.

The support extended to Wells from her friend and her fans has not been overlooked by the former castaway. She posted on social media that she is “amazed” by the generosity and “affection.”

The struggle that Wells has encountered is one that many fear or have also faced. The Kaiser Family Foundation, for instance, reported that an estimated 66 percent of people have conveyed that a one-time event, not chronic illness, underlies “problems with medical bills,” according to a September 6 MarketWatch report.

Advice for people facing medical bills

Monica Dwyer (Vice President of Harvest Financial Advisors in West Chester, Ohio) advises people to “re-evaluate their expenses,” along with asking for help when it’s needed. She further stated that there might even be government subsidies available to assist with housing costs. HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) is one of the organizations she cited.

While Wells is famous and was once a household name, people have not forgotten her and are providing financial support in her time of need. Unlike Wells, though, many people in similar situations cannot rely on their name to draw support.

Fans pull through for star

For the joy and the entertainment that Wells delivered through her character and her on-camera performance, many people are happy to help the woman they knew and loved as Mary Ann, the farm girl from Kansas.

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