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Utahns

"Facing cancer as a single mother is enough stress.  With the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, a huge financial burden was lifted off my shoulders."



Angela Cooley is a small business owner and a mother of two.  Early in 2008, she experienced abnormal bleeding and decided to see a doctor.  At that time, she was misdiagnosed with a polyp and,   due to failed medical treatment, had to have a full hysterectomy.  During her recovery she discovered she had cervical cancer.  “I was freaking out.  I am the sole provider for two children and have no insurance.  We live paycheck to paycheck.  I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

Angela's doctor suggested she call the Cancer Control Program.  She did, and found her disease and treatment would be covered by the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program.  “It was a huge weight off my shoulders.  It is one thing to face cancer as a single mom, but to financially ruin my family was too much.”

Angela completed treatment, went into remission, and got off Medicaid.  Then, in November of 2010, she had some symptoms which caused concern and went in for a check-up.  She and her family were devastated to find out her cancer had returned.  In her second round of this terrible disease, she is again grateful to rely on Medicaid while she receives treatment. 

“As a mother with cancer there are so many stresses.  We are still responsible to take care of our families, and sometimes taking care of ourselves takes the back seat.  It is a huge relief to know that I can still take care of my family and get treatment, it’s nice to know that through Medicaid, people are willing to help take care of me when I have needed it most.”


Policy Solution:


Leave eligibility rates as they are for Utah Medicaid Breast and Cervical Program.  When looking at cuts to Utah’s state budget, leave programs that are providing direct services for Utahns in tact and accessible to people who need them.