We Love You, Jason

Tonight is a fundraiser for Jason Kanarish, the son of our dearest family friend. I’m happy to report Jason is kicking major league tucas. He’s on the road to recovery.

We’re thankful.

But there are medical bills, lost wages, the unexpected financial skid of a sudden cancer diagnosis. I was talking to a friend recently who said her life was saved by cancer. She survived. And now, looks back on the experience as a defining characteristic of who she is, and her spirit, which is a survivor with sass.

You never know when it’s coming your way. Rest assured, it’s coming.

No one gets around it, which is what makes the behavior of our so-called elected officials, when it came time to implement The Affordable Care Act, so reckless.

This president won. This president won twice. This president passed the Affordable Care Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court (even though, we really didn’t need their approval, constitutional truth be told).

When I think of what Jason had to go through, a hardcore mensch, well educated, loved by his family, a budding entrepreneur in the field of veterinary medicine.

When I think of what Jason had to go through, I can only ask why should getting sick be treated like it’s his fault?

Why should sickness become financial hardship?

Why…

I’ll tell you why, the very same people who are elected to represent us hate the very idea of We The People. Otherwise, they’d grant us, with genuine expedience, the very same health care benefits they take for granted.

It’s disgusting. They’re disgusting.

Speaking of things which fill my stomach with bile, there was another Mall Shooting today in Maryland. As I type these very words, 3 are reported dead, all in their 20’s. Nothing will change. We’ll report it, for sport. There will be speeches, for the perception of sympathy. And then nothing will change.

Nothing.

Will.

Change.

Mass Shootings are the new national pastime.

We might as well face the facts. How many 6 & 7-year olds died at Sandy Hook Elementary School? I forget. How many Dark Knight fans were gunned down at the AMC? I forget.

How long has it been since Columbine? Virginia Tech? How’s Gabby Giffords?

It’s too much to take. I can barely bring myself to swing by the bowling alley tonight for the fundraiser. I hurts too much. So I’ll do the only thing I know how: put on a smile, lace up my bowling shoes and pick a ball.

Then I’ll wait my turn. It’s coming, rest assured.

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7 Responses to We Love You, Jason

  1. Andy says:

    My best friend beat cancer of the throat last year. He was a veteran and the VA covered 100% of his treatment (Thank Jesus). I was talking to a doc and he told me his treatment of cemo and radiation would’ve costed 10k per day at a private hospital. We had a benefit for him too, it was beautiful to see the community come out and circle the wagons. Cancer is scary stuff.

    • Gregor says:

      Glad the VA took care of your friend. That’s nice to hear. Yes, Cancer is scary stuff.

      By the way, I’m 173 pages into “Duty,” by the former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. His passion for the VA is inspiring. I’m loving the book, it’s like a history lesson in real time. Should be mandatory reading at every high school in America.

  2. Claudia says:

    I was diagnosed with stage 4 Breast Cancer metastasized to the lungs on September 15, 2010. It was challenging, devastating, and financially depleting. I did not have medical insurance that I could afford at that time it happened since, I had left my job to start a business.
    Needless to say the money went to some of my medical bills, I was not surprised when I was denied medical assistance the first few times I applied. Based on the fact that I was a family of 2 with what they believe it was enough income.
    To top it off I had a stroke in the midst of all that chaos, I was in the ICU for about a week. Not to mention all the previous times that I had to be hospitalized for intense side effects from chemo. As I’m writing this I’m crying. I’m crying because I’m strong and courageous and it has been 2 years with clean scans.I’m grateful everyday.

    • Gregor says:

      It’s heartbreaking, the details of your sickness are heartbreaking.

      Crying takes guts in the same way asking for help takes guts. But for some reason, we’ve been conditioned to think the opposite is true.

      Last night, after the fundraiser, I met up with some friends. I was talking to a woman about what Jason and his family have been going through, and I made a naive wish that I could be part of the generation who brings health care to everyone.

      She put her head down, crumpled her brow and went off on people who don’t have health insurance deserving what they get, smokers not deserving her tax dollars and addicts choosing poison over family.

      I started to get into it, telling her 3-quarters of her tax dollars go to war, the funding of war, and the manufacturing of an enemy. I started to get into it, telling her America spends more money on the military than all of the countries of the world combined. I started to get into it, saying health care is a human right.

      Then I stopped.

      I backpeddled. I apologized. I tried to wiggle my way out of the conversation, suddenly aware how convinced she was of what she was saying, pretty much spitting at me, “You’re not going to get me to change my mind just to make you happy, Greg.”

      I didn’t know what to say. It was suddenly so clear, how we’re conditioned to say things without thinking about what we’re saying. I was talking about a friend, whose father I adore, whose mother I adore, whose sisters came into town from Arizona and Kansas to make a speech on Jason’s behalf, because he was too sick to be at the fundraiser bearing his name, and this woman wanted to come at me like we were on Fox News and she was Megyn Kelly.

      I wish she knew the details, and facts, surrounding your sickness, Claudia. It’s heartbreaking.

  3. Claudia says:

    It does take guts to ask for help. Believe me it was hard for me, I had work hard all my life and paid my taxes but life does not come with a guarantee. One day we are up the next we are down. It can happen to anyone. The problem with people like the woman you were speaking of is, that they believe that they are immune from tragedy because they plan their life accordingly.
    I’m sorry about your friend Jason. It sounds hard but it also sounds like he has a great support system. I’m grateful for the experience and I have a new found strength.

  4. Brian David Lupton says:

    Glad your friend is doing well Greg. Universal healthcare is a great thing to strive for. Even here in Canada it is under attack all the time. People complain about waiting for this treatment or that surgery. It’s ridiculous that people don’t realize that there are only so many surgeons, so many specialists and there is a queue. You can’t buy your way to the front of it, that’s the major complaint.
    My neice had her baby just before Christmas and the baby had a seizure just after she came out. They tested the cord blood and thought that she’d been deprived of oxygen for some period of time (though the monitor never indicated any issues). She was immediately transferred to the children’s hospital here in Hamilton. They placed her in a ‘cooler’ for 72 hours (apparently dropping a newborn’s body tempature gives the brain a chance to repair possible damage) as a precaution in case there had been oxygen deprivation. She was in hospital for a couple of weeks while they ran tests and did MRIs. As of now she appears to be progressing normally.
    I’m very thankful we live in Canada where all of this treatment is covered by our healthcare. What would be tens of thousands of dollars in the U.S. NOT because it costs that much… because healthcare in the U.S. is a for profit business. People are not cars and doctors are not mechanics. If you take the profit out of healthcare you end up with a better class of doctor. Doctors who want to help people, not buy another BMW.
    As for that woman you mentioned, I’m glad you realized you weren’t going to change her mind. Some peoples brains are just impervious to logic and reason. She’s still under the delusion that your military spending is vital to your security. If illegals from Mexico can get through your border how is your military protecting you? Your ‘security’ is an illusion. A very expensive illusion that makes a select few people very wealthy and keeps you from becoming “the greatest country”.

    • Gregor says:

      “If you take the profit out of healthcare you end up with a better class of doctor. Doctors who want to help people, not buy another BMW.”

      Love that quote. Thanks, BDL.

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