Some of the Guam Cancer Care staff left to right: Christina Martini, Conchita “Bobot Nelson (my wife), Ellie Ongrung, Olynne Rhoads and Honlein “Tillie” Ngirachelsau (not shown Lucy Joo Castro, Chalorna Lauron, Karina Quito and Terry Quabo).
Many families and individuals are just one catastrophic illness away from financial ruin. I have a cousin who has no insurance and is battling advanced stage IV lung cancer in United States. At this writing his bill for testing and treatment comes to about a half million dollars. It’s through the work of nonprofits that many people, like my wife and my cousin, are able to continue their battle as long as they do.
When my wife was prescribed Tykerb (aka Lepatanib which came to $11,000 for a month’s supply of a bottle of 120 tablets) it was through the work of a local nonprofit (Guam Cancer Care) that we were able to wade through the maze of paperwork and the large bills.
Fortunately my wife did have some insurance but GCC was a lifesaver on the portions not covered. They also acted as a go between with pharmaceutical company to get some contributions in the form of price concessions from them. Plus they were of invaluable assistance on two trips we took to the US Mainland for testing.
On behalf of my wife and cancer patients everywhere our thanks go out to the many people in nonprofits everywhere quietly doing such vital work.