Tuesday, May 5, 2009
What now, not what if
Its an inevitable temptation, to ask questions-
What if Rick had health insurance?
What if he had a stem cell transplant last summer?
What if he was still alive?
We can ponder the answers and never come to any real conclusion, which truly, now, doesnt even matter. I've found in the last several weeks that I have to avoid the lure of thinking about these things, and focus more on a bigger question- What now?
This blog is the first step in answering that question.
There are many reasons why young adult cancer has lower survival rates than other demographic groups, one of which being that young adults are more often un- or underinsured. I can not say with any certainty that our family's outcome would have been different had Rick had health insurance (his doctor was amazing and made every option possible available to us), but we did learn how difficult it is to find health insurance or help paying for medications. Beyond that, lack of insurance coverage contributes to late diagnosis, which also impacts outcomes for young adults with cancer.
So, now, it is our responsibility to advocate on behalf of those young adults for better health care options and access to care, to raise awareness of young adult cancers and the unique needs of those affected by it. The challenge is access- access to care, access to resources, access to each other. As opportunities to get involved arise, I will post them here, so please check back often.