A couple of years ago, my friend and co-worker got diagnosed with lung cancer. Cancer had sneaked up on him, and disguised itself as asthma symptoms. At the time, my friend was a few months short of receiving health insurance coverage and did not seek immediate medical attention. His symptoms worsened and by the time he went to the ER, the doctors discovered he had stage IV cancer. The few times I visited him at the hospital, Grouch-o, as we had nicknamed him, smiled. He kept his head up high and at 26 years of age, this young man never lost hope.
That same year, my OB-GYN found some abnormalities; he ran a series of exams and eventually ordered a biopsy. The biopsy revealed precancerous cells, which tend to precede cancerous cells. The doctor caught this in time, and I was able to remove the cells with cryosurgery. Had it not been for the health insurance I had through my job, I more than likely would not have been able to afford the diagnosis and treatment.
In May, my doctor scheduled me for a biopsy the following week. Once again I had abnormalities. However, I had the peace of mind of having a great insurance that allowed me to seek treatment. However, there are millions of Americans without health insurance and reports show that these people are most susceptible to death by cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society:
The report shows that people with no health insurance or inadequate health insurance face four main challenges when it comes to cancer:
- They’re less likely to get screened for cancer.
- They’re less likely to get counseled about cancer prevention.
- They’re more likely to get diagnosed late, when their cancer is harder to treat.
- They’re more likely to die from cancer than people with adequate health insurance.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) not only funds blood cancer research, it also provides people with the information and services needed to fight blood cancers. LLS provides financial assistance to help patients with significant financial need. With the help of LLS, treatment for blood cancer is not just for the privileged, it is for everyone. Aside from financial assistance, LLS provides counseling and support for blood cancer patients. Many of the services LLS provides come free of charge and make a distinct difference in a patient’s life.
Please join me in supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by sponsoring my half marathon run with Team in Training.
My goal is to raise over $3,000.00 by the end of March and to train arduously to run 5 half marathons between now and July. Please help me reach my goals as well as help fund cancer research and patient services by donating to my fundraising efforts.
Grouch-o, this race is for you and your family. You showed me courage and strength.