If her sister had access to health insurance, she could still be with us.
MomsRising collects stories from our members in the United States about how health policies affect families. Here's a powerful story about the need to ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care from a MomsRising volunteer in Illinois.
"My sister developed cervical cancer in 2007. She walked for months without telling anyone and didn't check it because she and her husband didn't have health insurance. At the time she was looking for treatment, her husband was realizing what it was quite large and it required extensive radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks.
In the summer of 2008, a follow-up PET scan showed that she still had some cancer, very little space, so she had a hysterectomy. Blessedly, all of this was covered by a federal program funded by a breast and cervical cancer program. However, she was extremely worried because this program was aimed solely at treating cancer. All the radiation damages her colon. In 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was re-exposed to radiation plus chemo.
In 2013, she developed a fistula that required an irreversible colostomy in 2013. She became very weak a few weeks later. This summer, she postponed seeking treatment because she feared she was not directly linked to her cancer and would not be covered. Later this summer, she became septic and we lost her.
If she had regular health insurance, she would receive preventive care. In addition, she would rather seek care for her problems after a colostomy. If there was universal medical care, I believe she would still be with us. She was my best friend and I miss her all the time. "
Does your family have a health history? Personal experience is powerful and can make a HUGE difference in helping elected leaders and others understand how health policies affect families. Do you or a family member have:
- Did COVID-19 (coronavirus) have to be treated?
- Was there a "pre-existing condition" such as asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure (or even a clinical section)?
- Did you receive health insurance coverage through your country's marketing or media program?
- Was there an illness or disability that required expensive prescription drugs or frequent medical visits, treatments, or surgeries?
- Experienced discriminatory behavior by a medical professional?
- Did you receive a surprise medical bill after receiving medical treatment?
You can share your family's health history here: https://action.momsrising.org/survey/healthcarestories_2020/?source=blog