I have battled with Crohn's Disease for as long as I can remember, and have only been diagnosed for the last ten years. In those ten years, my body has managed to reject, or become immune to, all of the traditional immunosuppressant treatments. The only thing keeping me alive right now is Prednisone, but it is causing horrible side effects from long term use. I am only 26 years old and I already have osteoporosis and possibly bone cancer as well from prolonged usage of steroids.
I found out about the Stem Cell Transplant through a Crohn's Support Forum and have since become close friends with many of the recipients. One in particular also has Blue Cross as their health insurance provider, and they were approved.
The bottom line is this; I am a young single mother who has missed out on so much of my daughter's life this past year because I've spent most of it in the hospital. I know there are risks with this procedure and the disease may come back. I don't expect to live a long, healthy life. But I do not think it is too much to ask to have a good enough quality of life to spend the next 10-15 years with my daughter while she is still young. And this treatment can provide that.
The long term side effects of all these treatments will catch up to me eventually, and I'm okay with that. I would much rather have 10-15 years with some quality of life than 50 years of misery.
All I want is to be the mother that my daughter deserves.
Blue Cross has stated the procedure is experimental as their reason for denial, but they have approved it before for someone with the same condition.
First, I just want to thank everyone who signed and shared. I cannot express how incredible it is to see how many people stand behind me when it feels like everything is against me.
I also wanted to share a little more information since the petition is a little vague.
I have tried EVERY treatment imaginable. I was on Remicade for six years, Humira for two years, and Cimzia for six months. The short term side effects of these treatments were horrendous, and I'm just starting exhibit some of the long term damage, one of them being probable chondrosarcoma (tumor) in my femur. Blue Cross denying the transplant for financial reasons makes no sense, seeing as how the aforementioned treatments cost between $6,000-$10,000/month, over $100,000/year. Not to mention the costs of seeing specialists all over the country, and over 15 surgeries this year alone. Every specialist I have seen (at least 6) has concluded that the transplant is the only option left. So if it's not about money, and I am willing to take the necessary risks, what reason do they have to keep saying no?
Thank you all again for your support. You guys are amazing!
Alexandra Van Way started this petition with a single signature, and now has 20,916 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.