I was a healthy person. I ate right and exercised daily. But none of that mattered when, at the age of 55, I was diagnosed with stage four diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In 30% of patients who have this type of cancer where it presented in me, the cancer spreads to the brain and the survival rate is low. Although this type of cancer grows and spreads fast, it is often responsive to chemotherapy.
Luckily, I was able to get the best cancer treatment in the world at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital in Manhattan thanks to the insurance my employer -- a small-business owner employing 10 people -- was able to obtain through the health insurance marketplace.
My boss was able to provide quality health insurance for all of us, myself included, for a price that didn't bankrupt his business. Because the Affordable Care Act no longer allows insurance companies to deny coverage for people with a pre-existing condition, he is also able to shop for competitive rates for all of us -- and I don't have to worry about losing coverage.
The moment I was diagnosed with cancer, I knew my life had changed forever. A cancer diagnosis could have been a death sentence if it weren't for the health insurance I got through my job. I could focus on the fight of my life instead of fighting to pay enormous health care costs or worrying about losing my job or costing others theirs because my treatment would cost my employer too much money.
Republicans want to play partisan politics, but there will be life or death consequences for hardworking Americans like you, me, and my boss if we lose the protections of the Affordable Care Act.
I recently went for my two-year scan, Anne, and the results are good. I have gone from "cancer patient" to SURVIVOR! I hope to live a long life -- but I know that I'll have a lifetime of medical bills and will always need good, affordable health insurance. So, will you stand with me, small-business owners like my boss, and Democrats to fight to protect affordable health care?