At 9 p.m. PST on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 Candice Custodio-Tan, also known as Kuttin Kandi, was rushed to the hospital. She was experiencing intense chest pains and other symptoms that led her to believe she had issues with her heart. Doctors determined that she was suffering from “Atrial Fibrillation,” which occurs when the chambers of the heart stop beating synchronistically. In other words, the upper part of Kandi’s heart was not beating in synch with the lower half causing very erratic heartbeats. Kandi was, then, admitted to the ICU and monitored. On the morning of Friday, April 13th, Kandi’s heart stopped beating for 7 seconds. Doctors were able to revive her and kept her in the hospital for further evaluation. They concluded that in order to address her health complications, Kandi needed blood thinners, life long medication, and most importantly she needed to undergo surgery to implant a pacemaker.
Kandi was faced with the hardest decision (emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially) of her life. Having a pacemaker meant completely changing her life. Not only did she have to become healthier, but she needed to adjust to life with a pacemaker and become dependent on continuous medical care from these institutions for the rest of her life.
On Saturday April 14th, 2012, Kandi made her decision. Being the revolutionary force in the world of hip-hop and social justice that she is, Kandi knew that choosing to have a pacemaker meant that she would have to change her approach to her health to improve her life. In order to go forward and continuing to fight for the people, she decided to revolutionize herself first and taking steps towards her journey towards a long life of holistic health - mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. On Monday April 16th, 2012, Kandi took a step in her personal revolution, she had surgery to have a pacemaker placed (“installed”) inside her heart.
When Kandi returned from surgery she stated, that she felt that she had “returned from a battle.” Kandi’s “battle” was a physical manifestation of a life long battle of daily struggles she has experienced as a large womyn-of-color. Kandi’s surgery was a success. Her weakened heart is strong again, and now she is a on the road to a long recovery - recovery to return stronger than ever to her life long commitment to battle fighting injustice - instutionalized racisim, sizism/bigism, ageism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, classism, and other forms of oppression. Revolutionizing herself will be a life long journey that includes receiving healthcare from holistic health practitioners, western doctors, and integrative cardiologists on a regular basis to prevent her from having a stroke.
Kandi recently found that that her insurance company will not cover the costs for her pacemaker surgery or a large portion of her medicals bills that accumulated while she was in the hospital for 6 nights and 1 day. Pacemakers can be very costly. According to various resources, without insurance coverage, the pacemaker itself can cost anywhere from $35,000- $105,000. This amount does not include copay's, hospital fees, consultation fees, medications and the long-term care Kandi will need to maintain her health. Kandi is currently trying to appeal and apply for a grievance to have these expenses paid.
In the meantime, Kandi’s family and friends from all over the world are coming together to support Kandi in her revolution. We have created this pledge page to help alleviate the added stress of having to pay atrocious medical bills. Further, your donation support will be helpful for Kandi's life-long revolutionary health journey.
Friend Kandi on Kandi's Facebook fanpage.