Friday, October 2, 2009

The Healthcare Debate

LSACtionHeader[2] I normally try not to post anything that can be construed as controversial and steer away from anything political.  But the recent debates on healthcare have hit close to home particularly for us.  As we get hospital bills and insurance claims statements on almost a daily basis, I can’t help but think about what kind of plight we would be in if we didn’t have insurance.  Furthermore, if I were to end up at a new job with a new insurance carrier, Isabella would most likely not be covered because it would then be a pre-existing condition.  

Today, I received an email from Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation.  The message tells of how Lance did not have insurance when he was diagnosed with cancer, so now he is pushing for Congress that any healthcare bill include the following options:

No American should be denied health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

No American should lose their insurance due to changes in health or employment.

So please take a minute to visit this link and chime in regarding this important topic.

The full email message follows.


Today is LIVESTRONG Day. Thirteen years ago today, my doctor told me I had advanced testicular cancer. What most people don’t know is that at the time, I didn’t have health insurance. In the following weeks, I received letter after letter from the insurance company refusing to pay for my treatment. I was fighting for my life—but also for the coverage that I desperately needed.
The legislation currently being debated in Congress is not just words on a page—for many cancer survivors, it’s a matter of life and death. Now, as this debate enters crunch time, I need your help to ensure that what happened to me doesn't happen to any other American:
No matter what side of the healthcare debate you're on, I believe we can all agree on two things:
No American should be denied health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
No American should lose their insurance due to changes in health or employment.
Will you sign the LIVESTRONG Action petition to make sure any legislation includes these two critically important reforms? We’ll deliver these to Capitol Hill this month as the debate reaches its climax and make sure our voices are heard in the debate:
When I received my diagnosis, I was between cycling contracts. My new insurer used the diagnosis as a reason to deny coverage after the new contract was signed. Fortunately, one of my sponsors intervened. At their insistence, I was added to their insurance company and was able to continue my life-saving treatment. If my sponsor, a powerful company, had not gone to bat for me, I may not have made it.
I was lucky. We can't rely on luck to ensure coverage and treatment for the millions of Americans affected by cancer. Some cannot get coverage because they've already been diagnosed. Others get calls from their insurance companies saying they have been dropped. It happens all the time—and it's unacceptable.
Every year on LIVESTRONG Day, we come together to take action for a world without cancer. In the U.S., a critical step is to make sure cancer survivors can get and keep their health insurance.
It has been 13 years since my diagnosis, but in some ways, not much has changed. No person should have to worry about health insurance while battling cancer. That so many do is an outrage, and we must speak out.
Please sign the petition and forward it along to your friends and family:

Lance and the LIVESTRONG Action Team

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Making Headway Family Cruise

The amazing folks at Making Headway put together another great event for pediatric cancer families: a yacht cruise around New York City! The cruise was on the Skyline Princess and departed from Pier 59 at the famous New York Chelsea Piers. The cruise took us down the Hudson River into New York Harbor, up the East River and back. We were blessed with amazingly warm weather for the three hour tour (the kids looked at us funny as Julianne and I sang the theme to Gilligan’s Island multiple times!) Some of the sights we saw were the New York City skyline, an actual pirate ship, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.

The slideshow below shows some of the fun that we had on that incredible day.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick Update

Isabella’s first grade teacher reports that she’s doing amazingly well at school and fit right in both academically and socially when she returned.  This is really great news considering she missed more than half the school year.

There also isn’t much more to report as we all return to what is now our normal lives.  Isabella’s next MRI is scheduled for October 10th, and we should get the results within a few days afterwards.

One pretty cool thing to report though is that Isabella’s hair is growing back in very nicely, aside from the area that was exposed to the radiation.  They expect this area to start growing back within the next few weeks.  But Isabella is very proud of her new hair growing back.  Last year,  when she went to school, she would prefer to wear a hat.  Now, she doesn’t want to wear a hat so that she could show off her hair!

We’ve read that when cancer patient’s hair grows back, it could grow back a different color, texture, and curliness, so we are very curious to see as her hair gets longer.  The picture below does show that her hair looks like it will return to being curly.  You have to zoom in pretty close, but you could see some of her hair curling up at the back of her head.

P1000522 Also, if you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to support my cousin, Adlar, as he races the New York City marathon in honor of Isabella.  Click the link over to the right to make a donation online, but if you prefer to mail something in, feel free to contact me (  The race is scheduled for November 1st.