My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for HealthWell Foundation, Germantown, MD, USA
HealthWell was there for me when I had nowhere else to turn.
In May 2015, I underwent a double mastectomy after precancerous cells were found in my breast tissue. The decision to have this surgery was not difficult for me – I had helped my sister-in-law through breast cancer, and I was willing to do whatever was needed to protect my health.
What happened afterward, however, is something I would not wish on anyone.
Sadly, studies show that the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are not informed of their options for reconstruction at time of mastectomy. I was ushered right into breast implants. After four additional failed surgeries, I was left disfigured and in pain.
When I looked in the mirror, I did not see myself. I began to second guess all my decisions. My self-esteem went down. My productivity at work went down. My long-term relationship ended.
I had to get the implants out of my body and try another restorative option! Working in a public library system, I do not make much money and the cost of my insurance is high. I found a well-regarded breast restoration center in New Orleans, but it was out-of-network and cost prohibitive for me. I began doing research to see if I could find any organization providing financial help to breast cancer patients in my predicament.
Understandably, the assistance that is out there is for people much more ill than I was. My various applications were all turned down, and I found myself in a very hopeless, precarious place. I felt like I was walking a tightrope without a net. After all the surgeries and almost claiming bankruptcy, I knew I needed talk therapy to deal with the trauma and the stress. I was able to go to a few (omit "talk" here) therapy sessions but had to stop because I could no longer afford to pay my copay amounts. My pain was no longer just physical. I was at the end of my rope.
That is when I took one more chance and searched the internet for any resource for financial assistance for cancer-related mental health issues and found HealthWell. I immediately called and a wonderfully positive and upbeat woman walked me through the easy application process, and I was approved. Finally, I felt like someone understood what I was going through – things really turned around for me that day.
To some people, a $2,000 grant may not seem like much, but it sure does to me. It has covered my out-of-pocket treatment-related costs for my new prescription drug, psychotherapy sessions, and even transportation. That little bit has made such a difference in my life! With renewed confidence and compassionate support, I was finally able to get the necessary microsurgery in New Orleans.
My friends and family now say to me “You’re back!” and they’re right! I am so grateful to all the generous people who support HealthWell and for all they’ve done for me.