Let's help our friend Jess.
On August 1, Jess was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer called invasive ductal carcinoma. With the disease already in her lymph nodes, there was no time to waste. She bravely underwent a double mastectomy surgery September 9th.
In November she began an intense 6.5 month course of chemo and radiation.Today she still has 7 weeks of chemo to endure, followed by 6 weeks of radiation. Then she’ll rest and recover before undergoing reconstructive surgery.
Beyond scary, right?Yet even though Jess has already been through so much, her spirit remains strong. Her strength, brilliance, heart and wit are exceptional, and every day she keeps on keepin’ on—one foot in front of the other. Her doctors are confident about her treatment plan, and she looks forward to the day when this is all behind her.
Jess has been incredibly reluctant to ask anyone for financial help, even though she is frequently the first person to offer it to anyone in need. Her financial burden from this crisis has become a staggering one.Jess has health insurance, a service she painstakingly pays for herself as a freelance writer and musician. But as we all know, insurance rarely covers everything. There is a growing pile of hospital bills, prescription fees, and other medical expenses to contend with. The bills just keep on coming, with no concession to chemo.
To add insult to injury, her own insurance company refused to cover the cost of the grueling fertility preservation treatments she endured after her mastectomy, even though egg freezing is now a standard part of cancer treatment. Rather than let her diagnosis devastate her dream of having a baby, Jess emptied her savings to pay for the procedures herself.
Here’sthe beautiful part: Jess considers herself incredibly lucky.She has a good prognosis and a positive outlook. She’s been writing and sharing her journey in a series of online essays, hoping to help other women face their diagnoses with less fear. She is grateful, every single day, to be surrounded by loving friends and family.
Jess has a good prognosis. But this is a devastating diagnosis and a grueling long haul. And let's face it: it’s a financial nightmare.Any amount you can give will be a huge help for Jess, for this funny, generous, beautiful, and brilliant woman we all cherish.