On January 25, IMF Leader of the Delmarva Multiple Myeloma Support and Networking Group, Josephine Diagonale, addressed legislators, supporters, and members of the press at a press conference held to announce the introduction of the Delaware Cancer Treatment Access Act (HB 265).
HB 265, a bi-partisan bill introduced by a group of legislators (Reps. Deborah Hudson, Ruth Briggs King and Bryon Short and Senators Patricia Blevins and Liane Sorenson), would require health insurance plans in Delaware that cover cancer treatments to provide coverage for orally administered anti-cancer medications on a basis no less favorable than coverage for intravenously administered or injected anti-cancer medications.
Josephine explained to the crowd that the diagnosis of cancer brings patients face-to-face with their own mortality, but slowly a certain tenacity and warrior spirit emerges and with a little help from family, friends, doctors, nurses, spiritual advisors, and dedicated medical researchers who innovate new drugs that prolong life, they succeed.
“Please understand – all cancer patients unite to focus on a cure,” she asserted. “Moreover, we form a band of brothers and sisters who bond in our battle to live productive and meaningful lives. And this means having access to all chemotherapy available to us without regard to the particular delivery system.”
The crowd was asked by Josephine to imagine what it would be like to have to choose between incurring a large financial burden for an oral chemotherapy or going without treatment. It can be a life or death situation for many.
She declared, “Imagine having to make this choice when you have kids to raise or kids aspiring to a college education. Imagine having to make this choice in today’s economy when jobs are limited and/or salaries reduced.”
Josephine concluded her statement by emphasizing that cancer patients strive for a quality of life that enables them to have as much mobility and freedom to live and enjoy. Access to oral chemotherapy increases their ability to do this. She urged legislators in Delaware to pass HB 265 to allow all cancer patients access to all anti-cancer medications regardless of how they are delivered.
HB 265 will be heard by committee in mid-March.
We asked Josephine to share her thoughts on the day...
“Lending my voice to the Delaware legislators and other supporters of this bill was an honor and a privilege. As we all know, the financial stresses associated with cancer can overwhelm.
This bill would ease these stresses. This bill would allow us all to focus on our primary battle –the battle to live productive and meaningful lives.
To this point and on a personal note, I revel in the fact that I still experience “firsts” in my life –what a hoot!”
THANK YOU and congratulations to Josephine for her hard work and for being our February 2012 Advocate of the Month!
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