From cancer, to diabetes, or high blood pressure, there are few that don’t suffer from some type of health issue in their life. Everyday, men, women, and children are diagnosed with illnesses causing them to alter various aspects of their daily routine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million adults are diagnosed with kidney disease today; 12.6% of adults 20 years old and older within the US have diabetes; there are over 20.3 million adults diagnosed with some variation of cancer; and the number of individuals visiting some type of patient outreach for Depression within a given year is 8 million. These figures are a fraction of the suffering people face today in 2016.
So what happens when one become diagnosed with an illness? Sadly, after the diagnosis comes frequent doctor visits, clinical services, prescription drugs, and perhaps even nursing care.
Oh yes! You’ll WANT the drugs.
The cost of one pill, say Truvada, is $52.13; without insurance 30 tablets is close to $1,600.00. That’s one drug; now imagine you need Capecitabine (or Xeloda) for Breast Cancer. One pill of Capecitabine on retail is around $27.52, multiple that for a typical prescription of 20 500mg pills is $550.40. Insurance companies constantly challenge the need to continue coverage of prescription drugs depending on various factors: age, pre-existing health risks, race, and socioeconomic status. And despite the obstacles to secure health insurance, there’s usually a plan adjustable for your income, and if you’re not sure, ASK for help. Hospitals have case managers who are paid to assist in these matters. And thankfully, Pennsylvania is great state providing affordable care for low-income families via Access.
Is there more after getting the drugs…of course, a serious diagnosis like terminal cancer, losing a ligament, or being HIV+ can emotionally and mentally bare difficulties that many don’t understand. I remember in elementary school, a mate taking insulin shots twice a day and disliking the glances he received from peers walking by before lunch. There are aches and tears we can’t fathom from those who suffer a daily burden of a serious illness, and those who suffer with them, i.e spouses, children, family, etc.
Now we fight back! Knowing that certain illnesses are unavoidable due to our genes, we shift our focus towards awareness and living healthier. First, we must encourage individuals to be proactive about their health. Secondly, a free health fair is a no brain-er and tons of free swag giveaways. Thirdly, support health causes. Did you know October is Breast Cancer Month? I haven’t seen anyone at Old First wearing Pink yet. Did you November is Men’s Health Month, or Movember? As a faith community, we should encourage each other to practice healthy living and participate in social engagements.
And remember, every day is precious; every moment is cherished, so why shouldn’t we take the time to safeguard that.
For more information on Breast Cancer Month, visit: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
For more information on Movember, visit: Men’s Health Month
JohnPeter – Program Assistant