Melvin Williams Cancer Treatment Relief

I've been primarily self-employed veteran for the past 20 years. For the most part, that's been fine! I've been lucky enough that in that time I'd never come down with anything worse than the occasional cold.

Even still, I was really proud of myself for enrolling into my currrent employer 's health insurance last year, and apparently in the nick of time: after a few confusing, stressful months -- which I laid out in much greater detail over here -- I was shocked being diagnosed with cancer & more or less immediately taken into surgery and herenow Chemotheraphy treatments with toxic drugs

I didn't lie when I first saw the doctors -- why would you? -- and let them know that I'd had some incidences of fevers, severe headaches, night sweats, and chronic coughs which caused me to throw up anything I ate. Before then, but none so serious that I'd been compelled to see a doctor about it until a few months ago when the Emergency Room diagnosed me with acute bronchitis.

And all throughout this time, there were no signs that anything was financially amiss -- I was still asked to pay out-of-pocket for a few doctor visits, but was told that it was because health insurance companies can sometimes wait until the very end of the year to process larger claims (like major surgeries), so that it wouldn't immediately eat through your deductible.

After admission into INOVA- FAIR FAX, I immediately started working with the Patient Advocate Network through Living with Cancer  and was assured this was probably a routine, almost clerical, error. Because I'd had no history of medical problems prior to this, the insurance company was obligated to check back through years of history and sniff around for (in my case, non-existant) clinical records to see if I'd gone in for anything related before.

When I tell people this, their first reaction is always: I don't get it, didn't this just get fixed with the new Health Insurance Marketplace? And it did, and it's maybe the single most important part of the initiative, but it only covers anything from January 2014 on, and I had the misfortune of being self-employed & sick in America in 2013.

It's always been extremely hard for me to ask for help from anyone, but outside coming under the patronage of an eccentric billionaire (still working on this, no luck so far), I don't have much recourse left to climb out from under this, and so I started this campaign to help tell my story and ask for some assistance.

That support may include friends & colleagues also coming together outside this campaign to help get me through this, and any additional assistance outside my immediate needs will be put into the cost of that on-going treatment -- as you might expect, from now on, it costs me many, many thousands of dollars more per year just to stay alive.

And, you know, this is just the first time I've been dashed against the rocks on my way out to sea. There will come a time, hopefully not too soon, when things will get more serious again, and knowing I've got a bedrock of support is the most important thing in carrying through those tough times, so my thanks to everyone that has, will or can help in any way.

Praise be the glory. I remain positive and push on through these nauseous treatments until victory.
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Melvin Williams 
Alexandria, VA
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