November 2, 2011 5:28 PM Subscribe
Mom: Cancer + unemployed + broke. Just shy of Medicare eligibility. She needs help immediately. But how? (Cook County, IL)
posted by mykescipark to health & fitness (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Cook County, Illinois: My mother is 64, unemployed, and has no savings. She's just been diagnosed with anal cancer and needs a CAT scan right away to determine the stage.
She's not eligible for Medicare until February. A Medicaid application takes 45 days to process, and obviously we can't wait that long. The social worker at her current hospital (Sherman) isn't calling her back, and she can't get answers from anyone.
Her twin sister died from this same cancer three years ago due to lack of money and sub-standard care, so you can imagine she's absolutely dizzy with fear right now. I'm an artist and live hand-to-mouth, so I simply don't have anything to give her but love, support, and information. I also live in Los Angeles and I'm trying to handle all this from afar, despite knowing nothing about this whole system or process.
What can she and I do right now - not the "one week" now, not the "two months" now, but now - to ensure that she gets a scan, gets a diagnosis, and gets treated? Where can we go, who can we call, what are the local and federal resources that we aren't thinking of? Good hospitals, charitable organizations, financial assistance?
Lay it all on me, please.