Imagine the moment you as a parent hears those fateful words "your child has cancer" the words are like a resounding drum echoing in you head, over and over again. It leaves you speechless and in a total state of shear and utter confusion, the pain and fear you feel is indescribable to anyone who hasn't lived the life of a parent with a child suffering from any illness.
Then take everything you are feeling, experiencing and hear the words "I am sorry we can't treat you, because you aren't insured." The anger and overwhelming feeling of betrayal of the country you call America must be unimaginable. You ask yourself, how can this be, we treat illegal immigrants, we educate them, but a citizen of the United States can't get access to healthcare, to save a 5 year old child?
Tonight I met a new wish kid, he was a little shy, he had a big toothless smile and well, he's 5. We spent the evening talking about Spongebob and Cars and what he might want for his wish. What usually leaves me feeling pretty high, left me rather uneasy, you see instead of thinking about all the wonderful things we planned, I am haunted by the discussion I had with his mother. She's a single mom of three, who is unable to afford insurance at work, so when her son was initially diagnosed with Hochtkins Lymphoma, she applied for Medicaid and was denied. I ask you at what point do you tell a mother that her child will die, because she can't afford insurance, she works, so she doesn't "qualify" for Medicaid? I would love to hear the "government employee" explain the reasoning behind letting this child suffer for one minute, while we so boldly take care of people that are not even citizens of the United States?
I have never been interested in the immigration debate, I live in Texas and it is just a fact of life, I am willing to help my fellow man as much as anyone else, but hearing the story I heard tonight I have to ask you… why? Why do we tolerate this? Why do we allow our own children, sisters, mothers, fathers, and brothers, to die, because of lack of healthcare when we so graciously offer it to people who are not even abiding by the laws set forth by our government?
I look in the eyes of a 5 year old and ask myself, why is he not important? Who in their right mind thinks its okay to let him die, because he doesn't have insurance? Do you realize how many children in the U.S. do not have insurance? Or adults for that matter?
My wish child's mother fought hard, it took her several months to get approved, but she finally did, my question is how many others give up? Or are denied again and again? Where is their protection? I left the hospital tonight, feeling sorry for the country we have become and thankful that the two months delay in his treatment, didn't give him an unchangeable outcome, it only made the climb up the hill a little harder for him and increased his overall cost, by the delay in medical care.
It is a sad state of affairs when you tell a 5 year old, he's not important enough, or rich enough to try and save.