I met Kelly Cuvar in Washington last March, when we both attended a big health care rally there. We stayed in the same hotel, and when Heather Statt and I were on The Ed Show on MSNBC, she came along. She was on the Today Show the next morning. We met Howard Dean (who talked about Mike on the Rachel Maddow Show later that evening) and Alan Grayson.
We went out to eat and spent a lot of time talking. She is a kindred spirit; she is amazing.
Kelly has had cancer (fibro-sarcoma) for nearly 12 years; it has never been in remission. She walks with a cane and jokes about her illness much the way Mike did.
Kelly was being treated by a doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, but her Medicaid stopped paying for him, so she hasn’t been able to see him.
The problem is that he administered a chemo regimen that actually shrank her tumors for the first time in her long battle, and she can’t get it anymore because Medicaid won’t pay for her former doctor.
She has asked the doctor to send the information about the chemo regimen to the doctor she sees now, but has received no reply. Nothing. She has been trying since July.
“I call every day,” she says. “What else do I have to do?”
This is our system. Kelly’s life means nothing to her former doctor now that he’s not getting paid. He won’t even take the time to fax the information to her new doctor.
“How many people do you know who want another round of chemo?” she said.
I would bet anyone who has cancer and wants to survive a little longer to enjoy life with family and friends.
Read Kelly’s story in her own words: http://www.alternet.org/news/155556/i_have_cancer_–_and_i%27m_more_stressed_by_america%27s_healthcare_system_than_my_disease