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WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America
WHO CARES: Chronic Illness in America

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Alina Valdes
Miami Beach, FL


I am a 26 year-old female with cystic fibrosis. I believe I have been blessed with good health most of my life. It was not until recent years that my disease began to interfere with my daily life and physical abilities. I soon found out that it couldn't have come at a worse time. After high school, I went directly to the university as a full-time student, opting not to work until I finished my studies. As a student, I was covered under my father's group insurance for my medical needs.

By the time I graduated, I was no longer eligible for those benefits and I am too ill to hold a full-time job that would provide its own benefits. Even though I was still able to work part-time, such a job would not offer group insurance. Without insurance, there was no way I could afford the medications and maintenance therapies that amounted to nearly $3000 per month. In addition to that, I had to be hospitalized for two weeks every six months for routine procedures.

By the time I graduated, I was no longer eligible for those benefits and I am too ill to hold a full-time job that would provide its own benefits. Even though I was still able to work part-time, such a job would not offer group insurance. Without insurance, there was no way I could afford the medications and maintenance therapies that amounted to nearly $3000 per month. In addition to that, I had to be hospitalized for two weeks every six months for routine procedures.

YOUR STORIES
Zoe Albright, Stroke
Betty Bennett, Kidney Disease
Roxanne Bedford-Curbow, Seizures
Valerie Brekke, Fibromyalgia
Lily Casura, Chronic Fatigue
Billie Davis, Peripheral Neuropathy
Penny Day, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Julia DeJesus, Seizure Disorder
MS Patient, Fairfax, VA
Charisse Farmer, Hydrocephalus
Katherine Fielder, Chronic Pain
Zoe Francis, Juvenile Diabetes
James Hines, Hemochromatosis
William Holford, Emphysema
Nancy K, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Patricia Lawson, Natural Rubber Latex Allergy
James Locke, Crohn's Disease
Gary Maslow, various
Kathy Matthews, Parkinson's
Andrea Meyer, MS
Gina Owens, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
Alicia Salas, Chronic Pain
Allison Scott, Chronic Pain
Deborah Serrano, Stroke
Becky Shively, Phenylketonuria
Jennifer Smallin, Type I Diabetes
Joanna Southerland, Diabetes
Alina Valdes, Cystic Fibrosis
Elizabeth Wertz, Seizures

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Jose Pedro Greer, Physician
W.F. Nagle, Physician
Ronda Riebman, Exercise
Cathleen Schilling, Case Manager
Jim Sykes

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