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I need your help! #JEWELvsAVMED


*Sigh* I had hoped that it wouldn’t come to this, but it has.  The ugly truth is– I am losing my battle with cancer.  I have spent the last two and a half years fighting for life.  I’ve successfully fought it off twice, but I find myself in battle again.  And this time, along with cancer, I have to fight my medical insurance company, AvMed.  I’ve done everything I could have.  The medical insurance premium comes from my husband’s check, bi-weekly, without fail.  Who knew that after more than a decade of carrying the Avmed policy, I would be diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer?  Since diagnosis, traditional chemotherapy has bought me only brief respites from treatment, the longest lasting about 10 months.  I was in treatment during the holidays of 2013, 2014, and now, 2015.

This time, my doctor highly recommended a research study, using a combination of 2 oral chemo drugs that have not been approved for my cancer.  He’s seen some success with it and thinks that I am an excellent candidate.  He prescribed them both.  I’ve been taking one of them (Drug A) for a couple months now.  It is not FDA approved for my cancer.  My prescription copayment for this drug is $5.14 for a month’s supply and AvMed pays $283.85.  My local pharmacy told me that the other drug (Drug B)  is about $18k for a month’s supply.  AvMed has refused to pay for this drug, saying that they will only pay for drugs that are FDA approved for my cancer.  Wait.  Did they forget that Drug A isn’t approved either? Interesting, huh?  Kind of makes one thing it’s NOT about the FDA approval, but rather about the dollars, huh?

Here’s the other thing.  Back in 2013, Florida passed a bill called the Oral Chemo Parity Act.  Here’s what it says:

“… individual and group health insurance or health maintenance policies that provide coverage for cancer treatment medications to provide coverage for oral medications in a manner no less favorable than those provided intravenously or as injectables. This legislation becomes effective on July 1, 2014.”

This means that I should receive oral drugs as easily as i do traditional ones.

I am literally in a fight for my life.  And, I’m not alone in this.  Many others in the battle against cancer have been refused medicine by their insurance company and have just given up.  My social media streams are full of folks fighting for all kinds of things.  I’m choosing to carry the flag for my fellow cancer patients, and those yet to be diagnosed.


I’ve reached out to my Congresswoman, my Senators, my Governor, mmedia, etc.  Now I’m reaching out to you.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Sign my petition at Change.org.  Push it out to your social media networks.  Us the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED. This will take less 30 seconds and a couple clicks.
  • Participate in my Twitter Chat this Monday night, Dec 7th, at 9pm est.  The hashtag is #JEWELvsAVMED.  Invite your networks to participate, as well.  This will take less than 1 hour.  (If you need quick instruction on how do participate, let me know.)
  • Share this post with others, using the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED.
  • Tell me about how cancer has affected your life.  Include the hashtag and tag me your social media posts.  I’d love to read your stories, as they give me strength and resolve.
  • Talk about my situation on your social networks.  Include the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED.  This lets me track the conversation.
  • Keep me (and all cancer survivors) in your prayers.

Final thought:

I’ve lived most of my life thinking that I knew my purpose.  I now believe that I have been wrong the whole time.  I think that God has always intended for me to lead and I never saw it.  THIS is my purpose.  I’ve accepted it and even embrace it.  But I can only do it with help.  Thank you for helping.

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13 Responses to “I need your help! #JEWELvsAVMED”

  1. Jann Lienhard says:

    Go for it, We do not know which of your teal sisters would be in your shoes,

    Find the manufacturer of the deug and contact tham for compansonate program. on Trials the medication is usually provided and they do the health monitoring of you and the records, before and after.

    Pull up your panties in dealing with theAVMed, get names of everyone who picks up the phone and contact information and bring on the emotion for the conversation. Also tell the person you are taping the discussion in which they are failing to provide paid services that are now legal. ( and when(Wh=en you are done all the local news to see if they can do some research on this issue and it will be a perfect article for you.

  2. Linda says:

    Please do what is right, our firend Jewel needs you now more than ever and you have the power to make the difference.

    God Bless you Jewel

  3. Jewel, my prayers are with you. You should not have to worry about and deal with this sort of thing on top of everything else. Much love!

  4. Kristi says:

    Hugs, love and prayers to you.

  5. Kristen says:

    I am SO sorry you are going through this – we are going to help you!!!

  6. Jamal Williams says:

    In my prayers

  7. Adriene says:

    It nothing I would not do to help. I think you daily as I always have done so this was definitely a no brainer for me. Love ya!

  8. Kirsty Hall says:

    Hi Jewel, does the manufacturer of drug 2 have a compassionate program for patients? Most drug manufacturers do. Can you ask your doctor to help you access it? If not, can the hospital help?
    Thinking of you and praying you get that drug, Kxxx

  9. Claudia says:

    Jewel as long as you are fighting you are not loosing. Keep going and I will gladly support and help you any way I king. Thank you for always thinking of others, If the people ban together we can do somethig about our healthcare system. Thank you for starting the steps to make the change.

  10. Linda says:

    always many prayers for all in the cancer fight, so many questions I have..using the hashtag #JEWELvsAVMED

  11. connie summers says:

    I support Jewel.

  12. Sili says:

    This makes me sick! So upset that you are going through this. We had a slightly similar issue with mom on oral chemo but the hospital (at that time MD Anderson), had a program that paid for the medication for her.

    I’ll join your fight girl, hate that you have to deal with this on top of everything else. Let me know what else you need from me outside of what you’ve outlined here.


  13. nadia jones says:

    Oh Jewel, I’m here to help in any way possible including prayers and hitting the virtual pavements. TWeet you at the Twitter party!

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