She has a dream- Hillary St.Pierre

January 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm 12 comments

The Future- by Chris Ritchey

(Click to enlarge photo of artwork and read text)

I think it is appropriate that whilst the USA is celebrating “dreams” I post the following ( in its entirety ) from Hillary St.Pierre. I wrote a few weeks ago about the “unequal healthcare insurance” in this country . I wrote of our own experience and thanks to the “Dr. wife’s insurance“( Angela (Lombardi) ritchey) how Chris was covered 100% through everything he underwent- she was not left with horrendous bills ( far from it) –
no bills what so ever….. except reasonable deductibles( which we paid) . BUT then there are the people still fighting for their lives who are having to worry as to whether they should stop fighting or get a divorce so their families aren’t saddled with “horrendous bills” Please read Hillary’s testimony and share:

You can find Hillary’s blog here read of her journey as she chronicles her young life and the fight she is going through for the “curable cancer” Hodgkin’s Lymphoma- the one that took my son- Chris


Testimony of Hillary St.Pierre on House Bill 89

House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee
January 13, 2011

Hi, my name is Hillary St.Pierre. I’m here to testify against the passage of HB 89. The new health law needs to remain in place in NH.

Please excuse any difficulties I may have, I had a surgical procedure and received chemotherapy on Monday to treat my Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

I was diagnosed with lymphoma 4.5 years ago when I was a newlywed with a young child beginning my career as a registered nurse.

I thought upon diagnosis that I would never have to battle for health insurance coverage since I was an RN and my husband is an aerospace engineer with an established career and what we still consider good coverage.

I was better prepared for cancer than any other 23 year old I have ever met, but if it were not for the new health law eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage and regulating annual limits, I may not have received chemotherapy on Monday. I would not have been able to undergo a necessary surgical procedure, because I am threatened with exceeded my lifetime limit.

I have undergone countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and two bone marrow transplants. The treatment of my cancer as a chronic disease, using routine low dose chemotherapy agents, is tough on my body but it is what will allow me to survive as long as possible.

It has allowed me to see my child grow from 2 years to seven. It has also allowed me to share my story and counsel countless others who have been diagnosed with cancer and to advocate for a stronger, safer health system.

I am thankful for the new health law, because I no longer have to live in fear my fight will be ended because of an insurance company’s bottom line.

During my battle, I have lost the ability to feel my hands and feet. I have lost 2/3 of my lung capacity. I’ve lost the ability to practice a career I love. I’ve lost the possibility of ever owning a home, but I have survived.

Without the new health law, trying to pay out of pocket for my healthcare expenses would not solely bankrupt me and ruin my credit, it would kill me by forcing me to choose between medications and food and shelter.

Even if I found a way to continue chemo, such as through cost shifting to Medicaid or Medicare, just one of my prescriptions costs over $700 monthly, and I take 20 medications daily.

Repealing the new health law is not a cost effective option for NH or its citizens.

After a recent severe attack of graft vs. host of the eye, where my left eye swelled shut from microscopic particles scratching and inflaming my tissue, threatening my sight, I was offered the cure through an off-label trial at the cost of $150 every three weeks.

We’ve reached the point where the hypothetical health question, “If the cure for cancer existed would anybody be able to afford it?” can be answered.

That answer is no.

Please look around the room. Look to your right and left. One in two males and 1 in 3 females will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. No one knows who will be affected next, and no one can predict how their treatment will be covered.

If a young RN, who graduated valedictorian of her class, and her aerospace engineer husband cannot afford to get sick, no one can. This could easily be any one of you or your parent or your child in my position, please think about how you would like them protected and vote against HB 89.


Entry filed under: blogs, Brit take, Chris Ritchey, health, hell is other people, medical, Women of Worth. Tags: , , .

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  January 17, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I had no idea that NH was trying to repeal the new health law. How can a state repeal a federal law?

    I admire Hillary for her strength and fortitude in standing up for what she believes and what is right. The lifting of the lifetime maximums was long overdue and beneficial to so many, including all of our heart friends.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 17, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Lisa this young woman is absolutely wonderful- I know first hand what she is battling with refactory HL where is finds her strength I don’t know…………

  • 3. Dennis Lamont  |  January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    There are over 20 states trying to repeal the new healthcare laws by having it declared unconstitutional.. Our new attorney general claims he was elected to join these states. I have never seen anything good about the new law published in the papers around here. You have to go to other cities to find it.

    I, and other retired members of management, lost their healthcare when REP went bankrupt. Once you are out of an insurance pool the sky is the limit and COBRA is a last very expensive resort. Some folks had/have premiums as high as $2500/mo (heart attack at work). Many retirees went back to work to pay for it. Luckily, I and my wife, made it to Medicare.

    If you care to see yet another viewpoint visit;

    In the case of insurance the more people you share the risk with the cheaper the cost. I may not consider healthcare my constitutional right as an American Citizen but I think the country is large enough to provide it for its citizens as it does other things for industry. Free enterprise is a wonderful thing and made this country great ….when it comes to life, health and death. I don’t believe that should be a corporate stockholders decision.

  • 4. Lisa  |  January 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    A big problem with healthcare in America is that it is tied to your employment. No job = no benefits. No plan the government comes up with will ever be good enough until they give us the same benefits that they enjoy.

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Check out the stats on Hillary’s blog today
    see where the US is ranked in life expectancy etc………….

  • 6. Dennis Lamont  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Lisa, I agree, if everyone were in the same risk pool it would make things better, and make it harder to throw stones at.

    My favorite scenario is where all my pension money is in insurance company stock … I depend on the stock dividends for my total income. As a stockholder will I favor dividends or paying for physical therapy for people on their last legs in a nursing home. Will I favor dividends over heroic efforts for a few more weeks of life. Will I favor dividends over paying for known health risks This in my opinion is why I believe we need a national system that absorbs the risks, not pays dividends.

    Mr Boehner on the other hand has stated publicly that we (USA) have the best health care in the world. Does this mean he is happy that more babies die earlier or that old folks don’t live as long ? Sure fits in my scenario above and shows the information gap we are suffering under.

    Follow the big money on this one.

  • 7. thatwoman  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    It is easy when you are healthy to say “great healthcare and we don’t need to change” try it when you are so ill and are trying to deal with insurance companies….. try it when your child is ill with a catastophic illness……. it is easy for congress who have great benefits to decide what the Hilary’s etc. should have or have not……. it is easy for those to perceive that they have the world’s best healthcare to bury their heads whilst people are burying their loved ones……. those stats are unacceptable so why are we accepting them?

  • 8. Dennis Lamont  |  January 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    IMO What I perceive as the right wing does not care about the “Havenots” they are cursed by God and if they would get off their dead rear ends there would not be a problem. These patriots are folks that have never been in a bind and live in their own little world. They have been whipped into a frenzy by the straight out lies in all of the media, and all the millions of irate letters sent out over the internet. These are the folks that want to regress to the non-existent “shining times” where the white-bread Brady Bunch was the “norm”. These are folks that cannot face becoming a minority. What they want is a government of whom they choose, for whom they choose and by whom they choose, blacks, gays, hispanic ,sick, non-wasp, etc, need not apply, The super-dooper 24 % of the voting public with the overwhelming mandate wrapped up in a flag to return us to out roots …….persons unclear of the concept of what we are and where we came from ! Probably that same percent has always been there and all it takes is a complacent electorate to put them into office ….;last election, 60 % of the people couldn’t be bothered.

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  January 20, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Tell me what you really feel Dennis 🙂

  • 10. Dennis Lamont  |  January 21, 2011 at 3:01 am

  • […] a courageous young woman, fights not only her disease, but also those that make her journey and those with catastrophic illness even more of a hardship. Todays’ post: […]

  • […] After Chris died I still went to Hillary’s blog every day – the way she chronicled what was happening to her- her body – the experiences and her medical knowledge helped me understand what had happened to my son . […]

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