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'Justin, you have brain cancer'

By Madison Park, CNN

July 2010

After learning that his tumor is deadly and has a 80% chance of returning, Justin can no longer work. He tells close friends and family he is terrified and keeps picturing himself on his deathbed saying goodbye.

I won't pretend I'm not terrified at whats going on, but heres the deal. I've got too much stuff to do before I go anywhere. So, I fully intend on staying strong, and rocking this stupid cancer out of me -- and quickly. Its not a part of me, so lets fix that. So lets do this! Sounds like I start chemo and radiation on Monday, July 12th.

Justin's health insurance through his employer maxed out after brain surgery. He had to enroll in a state program called Iowa Care, a limited health care program that covers adults who would not normally be covered by Medicaid. He has to get treatment in Iowa City, which is 200 miles south of his home. Without the state-sponsored care, there is no way Justin would've been able to afford the $10,000 a month for chemo and $2,000 for radiation, which he received five days a week for five months. His girlfriend, Alicia Peterson, said that figuring out health care and insurance was the most complicated part.

Sometimes, I tell people I'm not scared. Other times, I tell people I'm terrified. That doesn't mean I'm a liar, it just means there are ups and downs that you couldn't possibly imagine until you've taken a seat on the rollercoaster ride I'm on. but at this very moment - ONE thing is for certain: CANCER WILL NOT KILL ME.

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