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Tennessee Support Group Leader Has Chance Meeting with Representative

In September, Darlene Jessee, the Northeast Tennessee Multiple Myeloma Support Group Leader, attended a Harley Davidson 9/11 Remembrance Ride to serve food with her daughter. Right before the event, Darlene found out that her Representative, Rep.Phil Roe (R-TN) was scheduled to speak.

The night before, Darlene studied the materials she was given by the Advocacy team at the Support Group Leader Summit so that she would be prepared to talk to Rep. Roe about HR 2746, the Cancer Coverage Parity Act of 2011.

At the event, Darlene was lucky enough to corner him for a few minutes to tell him about the bill. His assistant took her phone number and promised to give it to the appropriate staff person for follow up. A couple days later the staffer called Darlene and listened as she spoke about the importance of the bill. He said he would talk to Rep. Roe about it and get back to her within a week.

We asked Darlene to share her thoughts about this experience…

“I was very excited to talk with Phil Roe on September 11th. He was very interested in learning more about the Cancer Coverage Parity Act. I will be following up again with his assistant this week.

The more I talk with cancer patients and hear their stories, the more I realize that we all need to work to get the Cancer Coverage Parity Act passed.   This will affect all families at one time or another, including children, grandchildren, and extended family. Please, all IMF Support Group leaders encourage your members to call their representatives.  Together, we can make a difference.”

If passed, HR 2746 will require health insurers that already cover chemotherapy to cover oral anticancer medications on a basis no less favorable than intravenous or injected anticancer medications. Insurers cannot raise the out-of-pocket costs of IV nor can they reclassify anticancer medications to achieve compliance.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to Darlene for being Advocate of the Month for October!

How You Can Help

Please email your US Representative and ask him/her to co-sponsor HR 2746 TODAY!

Contact your Representative’s district office or DC office and ask that he/she co-sponsor HR 2746. If possible, schedule a face-to-face meeting in the district office. To locate your Representative’s district office, visit our Action Center at www.advocacy.myeloma.org.

We have drafted everything you need for a district meeting including talking points, advocacy tips, and materials to leave with Congressional staff at the meeting. All of these documents are posted on our website.   


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