*Editor’s note: This information was published in the March 2022 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*
Karen Grange, Fort Kent, Maine
At first, I wasn’t going to have my yearly mammogram. I’d just retired and didn’t think they would find anything. My husband, Ralph, however, talked me into going.
They called me back for a second mammogram and ultrasound, because they found a cyst. That didn’t worry me too much. But when they called me back a third time for a biopsy, I knew it was going to come back positive.
I was diagnosed with non-hormonal her2+ breast cancer in November. If not treated early and aggressively, it’s quickly terminal. I had surgery the first week of December and was to meet with an oncologist two weeks later.
The night before the appointment, I received a call from the hospital’s financial department explaining that since I didn’t have insurance, they canceled my appointment. They urged me to apply for insurance if I wanted to continue treatment.
I felt abandoned. I called CHM and the wonderful person who answered comforted me and gave me suggestions on what to do next. My husband called another facility in our area, and they had no problem working with CHM.
It was hard. I had to confirm my name and birth date on the vitals and bags for the first chemo infusions. It’s unnerving to look at something that says "hazardous" and know the contents were being put into my body.
However, I was encouraged the whole way by CHM and my doctors and nurses. I kept a “let’s get this done” attitude by marking milestones and celebrating each one I completed. My family was a great support. The cards from CHM members boosted my morale. I could feel the prayers that were being said for me. I’m grateful for all the support I received.
CHM was with us every step of the way. When I first called CHM about having to go back for a biopsy, the CHM staff member walked me through the instructions on submitting invoices. Whenever Ralph had a question, CHM was there with assurance and direction.
At first, the health care facility was cautiously guarded about accepting health cost sharing ministries. By keeping the facility informed and paying them whenever we received a reimbursement, their opinion of CHM skyrocketed.
We usually got a 20 percent discount on bills. Once, we were advised that if we could pay our balance within a short timeframe, we would receive a large discount. Ralph immediately called CHM, who was able met the deadline! Because we kept the facility informed regarding our payments, we continued receiving substantial discounts.
It’s wonderful CHM is here with members willing to share each other's costs. CHM has literally been a godsend to us!