In Sickness and in Health
- Shauna Ellis, 43, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and shortly after her surgery, her partner Jason Ellis, 47, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.
- The wife and husband, who have two children together, both had to take time off in order to fight through their health battles.
- Many patients say that paying for cancer treatment ends up being more challenging than the treatment itself, especially when you provide for an entire family.
- It’s important to know what resources are out there for you: doctors and social workers can help advocate for you when it comes to insurance companies, and church groups or other organizations may be able to provide assistance, although the most popular means of rallying support these days is via GoFundMe.
Shauna Ellis, 43, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and shortly after her surgery, her partner Jason Ellis, 47, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.Read More
The mom of two admitted that she had initially put off her routine mammogram check because of COVID, but then in May she finally went in and received the news.
By July, Shauna had a double mastectomy, which is also when things took a turn for the worse for Jason.
“I had my surgery on the 14th and was driving him bandaged up and everything—he had a colonoscopy, and they couldn’t finish it because he had a blockage and they told him it was cancer,” Shauna said.
Unfortunately, picking up where his wife left off, Jason then began chemotherapy treatment, which was definitely an unpredictable cancer baton toss.
Fortunately, months after treatment, they are both still in the clear, and Shauna wants to remind everyone to be diligent about health checks.
“Be persistent with your doctor,” Shauna said. Both she and Jason could have had a very different prognosis had they waited any longer due to COVID.
Although they have been set back financially from taking time off work, they know how fortunate they are to have overcome this together. Meanwhile, while they get their lives back on track, a family friend set up a fundraiser for the couple. Generous donations of nearly $20,000 have poured in.
“My wife and I are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone,” Jason commented. “We are doing well and are beginning to pick up the pieces. We definitely feel the love.”
The Financial Stress of Cancer
Many patients say that paying for cancer treatment ends up being more challenging than the treatment itself, especially when you provide for an entire family.
It’s rare for health insurance to pay for 100 percent of your cancer treatment. It’s something most people struggle with. However, there are resources that you may not know about.
For example, it’s common for doctors to get on the phone and advocate on your behalf with your insurance company. Many drug companies and clinical trials also offer patient assistance programs, which you may be eligible for. The social workers at your cancer care clinic can help guide you through the various options.
Patient advocacy groups are also willing to help in several ways—and your church or social group may be another source of support.
GoFundMe, as the Ellis family has used for support, is a highly common platform these days that enables loved ones and social media followers to easily contribute to.