Survivor Stories

Christopher From Illinois: “The ACA has helped in many ways through these trying times.”

I discovered that I had a brain tumor in the fall of August 2014 at the age of 36, while my wife was four months pregnant with our first child. Full tumor resection occurred immediately, and I returned to work 8 weeks later. When I returned, I was told there was no re on-boarding plan because they didn’t think I was coming back. My responsibilities had been delegated out and I was floating quite a bit. Despite my best efforts and a very vague role, I was rated as a low performer.

“If the ACA is repealed, people like me will be left to die with little or no treatment—bringing harm to us and suffering to all of those around us.”
Just as I was beginning to turn things around—getting healed up and back to a better energy level—my new doctor recommended immediate aggressive new treatment including 45 days of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. When I returned from that leave of absence, my job and team had been given to someone else. I was then a sole contributor, immediately given my annual review of “below expectations,” and told that I had to figure things out and turn it around fast or else.

Several months down the line now, they’re ready to push me out the door. I do not believe that accommodations were offered or met. I’ve been “bullied” and “pushed” around, waiting for me to quit. Prior to this, I was a very high performer who was seen as a big up and comer for the company—invited to executives’ houses and parties on a regular basis. It’s been dead quiet since. They barely acknowledge me when in passing. God forbid that themselves or any of their loved ones get cancer and are treated like this during the most trying times of their lives. Basically inhuman and zero empathy; I think there’s a terminator skeleton inside my Director’s body.

The ACA has helped in many ways through these trying times. Because of the ACA, my company’s insurance coverage could not terminate my policy. I also had no maximum benefit—which is good due to the massive costs for world class surgery, lengthy stay in hospital, several dozen MRIs, Proton Radiation Treatment, and chemo that costs $5,000 per 28 days. Also, when I do leave the piece of garbage company/team I’m on now, this illness cannot be used as a “pre-existing condition” to exclude me from coverage with my next employer, or if I want to purchase insurance on my own. If the ACA is repealed, people like me will be left to die with little or no treatment—bringing harm to us and suffering to all of those around us.

If you don’t like the term “ObamaCare” for ACA, stop using it. Rebrand it, make a tweak or two to make yourself feel special and leave the rest of us to fighting for our lives.

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