My name is Julie Ricks and I work from my home as a freelance editor. I have eye cancer, officially called choroidal melanoma. It's to my left of the optical nerve in my left eye. That orange globe is a picture of the tumor. It was obtained by a very unpleasant procedure called a fluorescein angiography (you can read more about that here: http://eyewiki.aao.org/Fluorescein_Angiography).
My husband, a teacher, was laid off on June 8, 2012, and his employer-paid insurance expired on June 30, 2012. If we are not able to keep our health insurance through the COBRA mandate, we may either rack up an incredible amount of medical bills, or the treatment I need to save my eye and, ultimately, my life, will not happen. And that scares me a lot.
I'd like to keep my eye, I'd like to continue seeing out of it, and I'd like to live much longer than the 49 years I've already been blessed with so far. I have too much to do. So many books, so little time.
We had an Indiegogo funderaiser for June which netted us just under $1500-; enough to pay the July premium. But we also have an August premium and travel expenses to go out of town for this very specialized treatment for this extremely rare--6 in every one million people --cancer.
What We Need & What You Get
The cost of the COBRA coverage is $1400- per month for Blue Cross PPO--very good insurance. We're asking for help with just a second month's worth of payment as I have some freelance work editing I'm currently engaged in, although there was about two weeks post-tumor marker surgery June 19th, when I really could not see well; payment is on the horizon, but probably not until September. We don't bill until the project is completed. We're hopeful that my husband will get a new teaching position by late August. If he does, we can keep up the payments or perhaps we'll even have different insurance from his new job (especially now that the AHCA has been upheld by SCOTUS and I can't be discriminated against for having a pre-existing condition! Yay!).
Any funds received will pay for COBRA for the month of August; anything over that will go toward the cost of going out of town, 150 miles away from our home in Reno to both San Francisco and Sacramento, to receive specialized treatment from specialized doctors, so there will also be gas, food, and hotel bills to pay for.
I had surgery on June 19th to sew tantalum tumor markers around the tumor on the back of my eye to help pinpoint the proton radiation beams directly onto the tumor and not the rest of my eye, saving it and my vision. You can read more about it here: http://www.retinalmd.com/en/services/in-the-ope...
If we lose the insurance due to non-payment, and anything goes wrong with the surgery, the radiation, or some unknown with my eye (or anything else in my body), I won't get the treatment I need. Bureaucrats are scarier than cancer sometimes.
I hope there are a lot of people who would be sad to live in a world without me, or with me with only one good eye. As an editor, that puts a lot of strain on the remaining eye. I try to be a good person, kind to people, give to charity, be integral, look after my parents ... I'd just like a few more good years with my great husband, family, and friends.
I've uploaded a picture of the tumor, called a choroidal melanoma, here on IndieGoGo. You can see that b*stard. My surgeon said he thinks it's been there about six months, and it's growing fast. Time is of the essence to kill this thing before it grows or spreads.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Please post this on your blog, website, Facebook page, Twitter, or whatever else you can think of to spread the word!
- Don't forget to take advantage of the Indiegogo share tools to spread the campaign!
- Take advantage of some of the perks--I look forward to working with new and interesting writers. I can help you get your book, novel, or short story published, ebook and print on demand (POD).
Thank you for visiting my page.