John Croman’s blog from December 4th, “The coffee lady’s cancer battle on a budget”, is a great portrayal of the variety of challenges that someone newly diagnosed with cancer faces, especially someone uninsured. Laura Kabylnick is a peppy, upbeat St. Paul woman working in the Science Museum of Minnesota and Ordway Theater, whose life, already busy, was filled with an obstacle course of new challenges when she was diagnosed with cancer. Because she earns more than their guidelines allow, She was unable to meet the requirements for Medical Assistance, or General Assistance Medical Care because her earnings were more than their guidelines allowed, but a course of treatment that costs $450 just for the diagnosis isn’t exactly financially easy to bear. If she quit one job, she might be able to qualify – but as Croman writes, “Laura doesn’t have time to play eligibility algebra right now. Most people don’t.” And if she does quit, how can she focus on recovering after treatment if she has to look for another job as well? Who can be asked to choose between surviving the present and surviving the future like that?

Many people have been working to help Laura get good care, from Laura herself to Hennepin County Medical Center to her friends, who threw a benefit for her over the weekend. If, through all of their efforts, her medical bills can be taken care of, it’ll be a great achievement and great joy for everyone. However, that still leaves all the other challenges of everyday life – bills, food, etc. – and paying them while she has to be out of work thanks to the side effects of treatment. Croman’s 1200 words are barely enough to encompass her medical challenges, just as her cancer and the medical decisions it forces are enough to take all of someone’s energy before they worry about anything else. That’s why, at Angel, we want to make paying your non-medical bills just that little bit easier. Enough to let you concentrate on your health and your recovery.