As I start off today's post I would like to say hello to all our new readers that have been linking in from the Baton Rouge Advocate's website. When we started this blog the intent was to inform Ann's friends and family what was going on with her from day to day, we never imagined we would reach such a wide audience.
The reason I'm using a picture of Ann at Jackson Hole, Wyoming in this post is that Ann had no appointments at MDA today. Well, that and honestly it's nice to remember happier times when words like cancer, chemotherapy and leukemia were foreign to our vocabulary. At least for a few minutes anyway.
Ann spent most of the day practicing her knitting and taking pain meds. Meanwhile I was running around MDA trying to take care of a few essentials.
As most of you know we are having problems with our insurance company. They do not want to fund a Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Transplant because they believe that it is an "experimental" procedure and thus is not an allowed benefit. The insurance company was perfectly willing to allow Ann to have a BMT if the source of cells was from an adult donor, but unfortunately because Ann is mixed race no such donor exists. Also the leukemia is expected to relapse in the next few months. So Umbilical Cord Blood, which is quickly available is Ann's last and best chance to be cured.
We have placed our entire faith in the Doctor's and staff at MDA to write and present our review to our insurance company. However the risk to Ann is too great to allow her to be lost in a tug of war between the insurance company seeking to reduce costs, and protect it's share holders and MDA seeking to give her the best care possible.
Today I have established the a Tax-deductible, non-profit medical fund through the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF). The NTAF is a 501c3 organization in good standing that provides fundraising assistance to people with catastrophic illnesses. Any money donated to the fund can only be used for medical expenses.