Are you looking for a good cause to support during this holiday season? Why not help out Emily Walter, a thirteen year-old who is suffering from cystic fibrosis and is currently preparing for a lung transplant. Thirteen is awfully young to have to go through this. I’m lucky I didn’t need mine until I was 29.
Even if you have health insurance, lung transplants can be very expensive. Expensive medical tests are done prior to surgery, the transplant itself costs $250,000 and up, the immunosuppression and other medicines are pricey, and then there are all the clinic visits and hospital stays in the months and years that follow. Put another way, a transplant and subsequent care can cost more than a college education.
Health care is fantastic in this country. The way we pay for and allocate it is not. There’s no reason the former has to lead to the latter. (Contrary to what the “socialism!”-screaming right would have us believe.) I hope President Obama will really shake up the system. In the meantime, we have to do what we can to help those families who are facing the type of major health crisis that inevitably leads to a financial crisis. I was lucky that my father was a corporate lawyer but even for my parents all my medical bills have been a big burden. In today’s America, major health crises are what I have called the reverse lottery.
I was alerted to Emily’s plight by a good friend of mine from high school and college who is now a distinguished professor in Virginia. Emily and his son go to the same school. Perfessor Dave (as I call him) asked me to give her a shout out in this space. I contributed $25 and I’m asking my readers to contribute a little something too. Here is her website: