Monday, February 22, 2010

Opportunity to Help

Sometimes you just have to do something to help. Mitrian is a fellow crafter whom I know through my group Rovers, on Ravelry. Last week, Mitrian posted the following about her friend, Liz:

I hope it’s ok to post this here…

I have a friend who’s disabled and about to lose her medical insurance. She’s waiting for an answer to her last SSDI appeal (cause somehow, they think she can work even though she can barely walk and can’t even sit up for long).

So I created an LJ auction to try to raise money to pay for her medical insurance and prescriptions. More info is there, and I’ve listed some items I’m donating to start things off. (Including 358 yards of hand-painted and -spun merino/cashmere blend.)

If it’s not ok to post this here, please let me know and I’ll delete it. If it is ok, though - please at least go take a look? Bid on something if you like it, or signal-boost?


Of course I assured her it was fine to post it on Rovers, then I followed a link on the main LJ profile page to the story behind the auction, (Here). It touched me, so I am blogging it today to spread the word. If you are moved to do so, please take a look at the items available, or pass on the links to help spread the word. Thank you :-}
Here is Liz's story from the site:

Hi everyone! I want to tell you about my friend Liz. Some of you may know her on LJ as [info]denelian.

Liz is wonderful. She is funny, creative, a talented writer, and one of the smartest people I know. She has a slightly warped sense of humor, an incredible imagination, and a healthy appreciation of the absurd. She's currently attending OSU and working on a dual degree: a BS in Journalism and a BA Political Science. In the time I have known her, she has been an amazing source of support and sanity-checking.

But now, Liz needs help.

She has some serious medical problems, which I am sure she would not be comfortable having listed publicly in detail. The combination of them, however, has taken a huge toll on her - she basically cannot lift or move one of her legs, and can no longer get dressed, bathe, or go anywhere without help. She is only allowed to walk 50 feet, and that with a cane or walker. She can only
sit up for up to 30 minutes before the pain becomes unbearable. Despite several surgeries, her hip is not improving. She is in severe and chronic pain, even with heavy medication - when I asked, she said her usual pain level starts off at about an 8 out of 10 each day, and only goes up from there.

And somehow, she has been managing to pass her college classes. Even to do quite well in most of them. Until the last few quarters, when the lack of accessible classrooms and university facilities has made it literally impossible for her to get to her classes. Her hip problems mean that even if she can get to a class, she cannot sit up through it.

Her health problems have forced her to drop a lot of classes, the last few quarters, because she literally cannot get to the lectures, and cannot remain sitting through them. This has caused her GPA to drop from a 3.5 to a 2.8. But that is not the biggest problem.

See, the financial aid Liz has been getting for school is based on how many units of classes are taken. Not the number completed, but the number scheduled. So if a class is dropped, or a Withdrawal is filed, it still factors into the total units counted for financial aid. Liz has had to drop at least one class per quarter since the beginning of 2008, partly due to unanticipated complications (MSRI) after one of her hip surgeries, which cost her an entire quarter's worth of classes.

So now, she has not yet completed her degree, but has accumulated a lot of credit hours that are counted only on the financial aid paperwork. The maximum credit hours permitted to continue receiving financial aid through the programs she has been receiving it are 230. Including the classes she just had to drop, due to inability to get to the classes, she now has accumulated 233.

This puts her over the maximum number of hours allowed by her financial aid. This means she will lose her financial aid, and will not be able to attend school next quarter.

And that's bad, but there's worse. You see, the only medical insurance Liz has is through her enrollment in the university. So when she is no longer enrolled, in a month or so, she will have no medical coverage. Her university allows students to purchase medical insurance for one quarter after their enrollment ends, so she has the option to buy another three months' insurance.

Her prescriptions alone, without insurance, would cost well over $1,000 per month. With her current coverage, they're still around $300.

Yet paying for a quarter's-worth of medical coverage through the university would only cost about $600 - for 3 months.

Liz has applied for Social Security Disability, but has been denied twice so far. They acknowledge that she can barely walk, can't really move one of her legs, and cannot sit for long - yet, somehow, they say there is still work she can do. Liz has filed yet another appeal, and will be contacting a SSDI attorney if she is again denied. (She was told to expect a letter from SSA with a decision Really Soon Now, so hopefully there will be good news.)

I know that, with no job (or ability to get to a job) and no financial aid for school, Liz is in a rather desperate situation. Without her medication, she will get worse - and issues that are just barely manageable now will quickly become dangerous.

Liz is not a person who likes to ask for help. She remains, despite her pain and disabilities, as independent as possible. Yet this is not something she can pay for - her only income lately has been from financial aid for school, and that is about to suddenly end. She needs help, as much as she does not want to admit it.

So, I am asking the internet for help on her behalf. I created this comm to set up an LJ auction, and I will start it off with several items. I am hoping to raise enough money to pay for a few months of medical coverage and prescriptions for Liz - to buy time until her SSDI claim is approved, or until she can regain financial aid for school and have her insurance again covered as part of university fees.

Please help, if you can, by bidding on items up for auction, by donating items to be auctioned, or by signal-boosting this post and comm. Thank you.

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

We have so got to change how we do medical coverage in this country...