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We're Fighting Back

Meet the patients, providers, and family members who refuse to be victims of our broken healthcare system: they're fighting back. Click on any photo or name below to read the inspiring story of what our activists have endured under this healthcare system, why they decided to stand up and fight back, and how the decision has changed their lives.

Add your voice, and tell us why you're fighting back!

My Healthcare Story

My daughter, Shalynne, was a very funny, loving and determined young woman. She had just driven from Kansas City to Las Vegas to complete schooling to become a RN. She worked two jobs as a CNA and was in the waiting period for health insurance.

In June of 2015, she fell and went to the ER in excruciating pain with a red, swollen leg. The staff immediately asked if she had INSURANCE. Shalynne replied “No.” She begged for an MRI and medications to treat her 8-out-of-10 pain, to no avail. They told her “Go get insurance and see a specialist, we are not a doctor’s office.”

My Healthcare Story

“You should get a divorce,” our son’s social worker told us during a meeting in late 2007.

My wife and I exchanged worried glances, hoping for a punchline that would not come. The social worker was serious.

We were meeting with her to discuss how to maintain health coverage for our 4-year-old son, who was about to cap out of his second insurance plan in less than two years. At the time, there were very few protections or options for insurance for people with chronic illnesses, and our son had one of the most expensive – hemophilia.

My Healthcare Story

Shortly after I retired from teaching in 2005, my brother was arrested again and jailed for DUI and driving on a suspended license. He could have been charged with grand theft auto as well, but mom and dad didn’t press those charges.

My brother had long suffered from numerous addiction problems as well as mental health problems, but even though he had worked most of his adult life, he had never received treatment due to lack of health insurance.

My Healthcare Story

Migrating from the Philippines, where healthcare takes a backseat in our day to day lives due to scarcity of resources available for all of us in need, coming here in the US as a Registered Nurse, has opened my heart and eyes of how vast the healthcare resources are but is never really accessible to everyone. As a mom of 2 young kids, I fear for their future and I don’t want them to go through making a choice of seeking healthcare as a human right versus food and other basic needs. Looking back to a painful experience, when my father was hospitalized for complications of Diabetes, it was heart wrenching for me and my family to decide against our will to bring our ailing father home from the hospital, because we can no longer afford and sustain the ginormous hospital bills and medication costs.

My Healthcare Story

My husband, Larry, and I have been married for nearly 40 years. We have six children and 15 grandchildren. We are among the millions of Americans who have faced financial ruin due to medical crisis and debt. After my husband faced three open heart surgeries and I was diagnosed with cancer, we were forced into bankruptcy by aggressive medical collectors who threatened to sue us for the deductible portions of our bills even after our health insurance had paid the providers thousands. We tried hard to pay everyone a little bit, but we could not find any way to cover all the bills and pay our other living expenses.

My Healthcare Story

In 2005 I thought I knew what I was doing with my life: I was going to graduate school for labor education & labor research in upstate New York. That’s when I developed a serious panic disorder. This probably isn’t what you think it is – I wasn’t going through a stressful time of my life, and I didn’t have any particular fears or phobias that I could identify. I would just start shaking uncontrollably and wouldn’t be able to stop for hours on end. Sometimes the attacks would start in the middle of the night while I was sleeping. I had no idea what was happening to me, and I assumed I had some sort of physical illness – my doctors also misdiagnosed the panic attacks as a dietary issue at first.