My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for HealthWell Foundation, Germantown, MD, USA
I became disabled and have lived with chronic pain after a head-on collision in 1993. To stay strong as I can be, I was swimming in the YMCA pool several days a week. I have never competed, it is just that I love it so much and its great exercise that I was motivated to keep at it. One day I noticed it was taking longer than usual to recuperate my muscle strength after any physical activity. As the days and weeks went by I knew something was wrong as it was taking days to recover instead of hours. The problem in diagnosing me was that all my blood tests looked normal, at first. The days and weeks turned into years and as the weakness progressed so did the pain. Finally, I could barely get out of bed. I had a commode, a wheelchair, no social life, not enough energy to shop, or cook for myself and nobody could tell me why. Then I started having severe skin issues and uncontrolled sweating. Finally, after many doctors, and many years of looking for what might be wrong, the diagnosis was that I have LUPUS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, a very rare disease called DERMATOMYOSITIS, and a few other autoimmune diseases. My rheumatologist supported me in my decision to participate in a clinical trial using Benlysta to treat Lupus. After a year of being in the trial, along with several other medications, I began to feel so much better! In fact, I was eventually able to return to part time work and could walk again and even go swimming. However, at the end of the clinical trial, the FDA approved it and it was prescribed to me. However, the monthly co-pay was outrageously high and I could not afford it. Where would I et the money to pay for it? I was petrified I would return to being immobile in a bed all over again. As it turned out, Healthwell Foundation came to my rescue and became my angel. Without my medication, I wouldn't have survived. I was in shock when I received my diagnosis(s) but that was nothing compared to the shock I felt when I learned I could not afford the medication that literally saved my life. I heard about Healthwell on a Lupus Support group I belonged to on FB. I applied and was thrilled to learn Healthwell would help me with the co-pay! I would be able to pay for the medication after all! I was overwhelmed with gratitude because not only did I have hope I would get my life back, I DID GET IT BACK! I can shower, dry myself, and have enough energy to be social. I can do a little gardening and a lot of cooking! I can go to the grocery store and even have a little part-time job I work on my good days. Thank you Healthwell Foundation seems like little words to say for the tremendous gift of being able to function in the real world again. There aren't any words to express my gratitde for all you have done for me. You gave me my life back, how does one say thank you for that!