My name is Jessica. I am 28 years old and a mother of two small children. I have 4 basal cell carcinomas, 3 of which are eating away at my face. And I have no health insurance.
In November my family lost their insurance when my husband left active duty military. He is currently in college and I am supporting our family of four on the salary from my part time job. Unfortunately, I earn too much to be eligible for government insurance, but not enough to purchase health insurance for our family.
When I learned of my diagnosis I was scared to death. After talking to my Physician Assistant and doing some research on my own I seriously considered refusing treatment. There was simply no way we could afford it. But my family wouldn’t accept that option. My PA wouldn’t accept it either.
Eve (Physician Assistant at Arizona Advanced Dermatology) started contacting everyone she could think of that might be able to help, but every surgeon either wanted thousands of dollars or wouldn’t consider treating someone without insurance coverage. Especially with FOUR skin cancers. Eve removed the cancer on my arm for free, but the 3 other cancers need to be removed by a special surgeon (a MOHS surgeon).
Finally, as a last resort, Eve contacted a hospital in New York City where she used to live. She knew that sometimes they would take a few pro bono Mohs cases per month to help people who needed surgery but can’t afford it. So, she sent my story…….and they AGREED. They agreed to do ALL THREE of my Mohs surgeries for FREE.
So, in two weeks, I’m on my way to New York City to have this surgery that I so desperately need. My godmother was kind enough to contribute for our plane tickets. Now we need to find lodging close to the hospital and enough for transit and food while we are there.
I never thought I would be in this place, asking for help, but my family and I could really use it right now. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.
- Garrett Herrmann
- Nichole Epperley
- Crystal Ortiz
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