29 November 2016

Why Being Apolitical in Healthcare Branding Isn’t Possible




Some Trends I’ve Noticed When Trying to Educate ALL people living in the United States to help save them time and money in healthcare:

  1. Rural Americans experience different access, physician expertise, and cost issues.
  2. African-Americans experience being treated differently when receiving medical attention.
  3. Most people don’t understand how their health insurance works, but those who get their own insurance with individual and family plans are expected to.
  4. Immigrants and legal residents don’t know where to start in healthcare.
  5. Religion plays an important role in health insurance coverage.
  6. Men generally put off going to the doctor.
  7. Women’s health is generally poorly understood.
  8. People can have distinctly different opinions of Medicare vs. Medicaid that are both government assistance programs paid for by tax dollars, but help different populations of people.
  9. Patients have very strong opinions along a broad spectrum on even what’s considered standard medical care, such as what tests are included in a full physical exam, antibiotic use, vaccinations, diet and exercise, etc.
  10. Language barriers make a big difference in understanding medical needs between doctors and patients.
  11. I could literally go on forever with this list.

 

The Politics Began in Social Media Hashtags:

So I thought it was possible to discuss this healthcare information to help a wide variety of people and stay out of the political fray. Can’t you just say “hey, we’re just trying to help people access medical care when they are sick” and have it be apolitical?

You think of hospital systems doing it all the time by talking about things like heart disease or diabetes or cancer. These are diseases that impact most of us, a wide variety of us. I don’t normally look at a hospital and think “yep, that’s a pretty leftist healthcare system helping people with heart disease” or “that hospital is obviously voting Republican this year and is great at cancer care”. No, I normally think of the science and the variety of approaches healthcare takes to care for the population around it. Isn’t that what’s really important?

In St. Louis, segregation is a reality. It’s embedded in the infrastructure of the city and county itself. It doesn’t have to be actively enforced to exist and it can’t be written off as a purely economic difference. But to make as bland of a statement as I possibly could, those of different races experience St. Louis differently. It would be ignorant to think that healthcare is a magical place that is somehow immune to it.

So I asked a social media consultant to try to specifically engage these different communities in St. Louis on social media and see if we get different questions, different concerns, different experiences that we could address to help all people get better access to medical care.

And when she went to reach out to local African-Americans or the black community, she added to every post…

#BLM

And there was an initial reaction from a branding consultant that made me weary to use it. Black Lives Matter is a political statement, was what was said. You don’t want to tie your brand to a political movement that is controversial, was what was said. And as an outsider, my initial thought was that this was a reasonable concern. Would posting Black Lives Matter impact our ability to reach other populations that are upset by this notion? I personally believe that black lives matter, but as a business, what do we lose by becoming political? But then the social media consultant did something interesting.

She said – if you want me to take out all politically-affiliated groups or notions, it’s going to be hard for me to share your content on immigration healthcare. And I’m going to have to get rid of the AARP reports on aging adults. This mention of a Freelancer’s Union on health insurance could be a doozie too.

As we went down the list of politically-affiliated healthcare advocacy groups and organizations and businesses that we include in our content because they are helping people get better healthcare, I realized that what I thought of as “politically neutral” groups, were actually groups targeted at the population of people I know most in my circles of friends and family. The groups seemed accepted and safe because they were familiar. And I grew ashamed of what I was realizing was a racial and cultural bias that I had defined as “politically neutral”.

In order to be effective in healthcare, you cannot pretend that everyone is the same and ignore social factors that impact the ability to take care of your health. In order to address these social factors, you’re going to get political because those people you are helping are political.

 

What if the New Healthcare Brand is Political Inclusivity Instead of Political Ignorance?

As just a human being in my own skin, I’ve always hated hospital and healthcare branding. It’s just so boring and robotic in my humble and unimportant opinion. When a hospital starts a Facebook page I just roll my eyes because I would never in a million years be friends with a hospital system that just sends me scary health information and brags about how awesome it is all the time. But it’s the popular thing to do – to have a Facebook page – so healthcare companies do it. This is what we call a “neutral” healthcare brand with stock images of very nicely dressed doctors and nurses and beautifully sick patients smiling at each other all the time. They are slender models of blonde whites, either male or female, and different light-skinned races, without any religious affiliations and standard families, all of them with very good teeth, to appear inclusive.

And because it’s so common, we think of this as “normal and neutral”, when in reality it ignores the majority of people who exist. It’s incredibly exclusive.

So what if we started to recognize the humanity of our healthcare system instead? Could we better engage the people we’re trying to help? What if I could see that Black Lives Matter is incredibly important to many in the black community and could be embraced by healthcare to improve their health? Why wouldn’t I be grateful and support those efforts? #BLM. What if I could see that religious organizations in rural America are making a dent in helping low-income families, especially for single mothers and fathers, get access to medical care; wouldn’t I want to talk about them specifically? (there’s no hashtag for that yet). What if Latinos have also formed an online effort to tackle problems that Latinos face and celebrate their heritage and I wanted to talk with them about their healthcare experiences? Why wouldn’t I engage with the group they have formed themselves? #latism.

What if we, as healthcare brands, recognized the real identities of people, that can be very political in our diverse country, and addressed them? What if we addressed the organizations supporting those identities because they help them get the healthcare they need?

For those healthcare companies brave enough to try, we’ll have to find out for ourselves if political inclusivity achieves better outcomes than political ignorance.

29 October 2016

How to Ride-Hail to Your Doctor (Especially When You Don’t Need an Ambulance)




Circulation is a pretty cool idea and more and more of these ride-hail and rideshare companies are cropping up.

Pacient created a card so that you can find out how to use these services for you and your family members. How to Use Rideshare to See a Doctor

I know friends of mine have had to use ambulances before to get taken to the hospital for broken arms and legs because they weren’t able to drive. That’s a pretty expensive trip to the ER. I’m really excited to see useful services like this respond to patient demand.

29 September 2016

How to Turn Public Health Cattle Drives into Your Personal Care




My Last Week’s Doctor’s Visit

I recently went to a new doctor for a minor problem and was asked a series of questions that made me feel like a criminal before I was locked away. You know that feeling you have when a policeman stops you and is even polite, but you’re still scared that somehow you broke a law and they will find out? I had the inkling that if I answered the doctor’s questions wrong, I would be placed in a sanatorium to be tested and treated until they felt I was safe to return to the public world.

After the exam I couldn’t pinpoint why I felt angry. The staff was professional and did their jobs. I was diagnosed properly and treated successfully, kind of, for my main concern. And then I realized that I was bothered that the doctor didn’t care about all of the other questions I had. She cared about the questions she had. The questions I had mattered to me because they impacted my quality of life, my experiences on a daily basis. The questions she had mattered to her because she was concerned about the ramifications of my health on the public. And there was a constant undertone that she was skeptical of my answers.

Why would a private doctor that I pay for out of my own pocket be concerned about public health more than my private health?

Public Health is Great, But not for Patient Exams

Public health is managing illness at the population level. The severity of the illness matters, its prevalence matters, its cost matters, and its transmission matters. Amazing information comes out of public health research. We all apply public health behaviors to better our own lives – washing your hands after going to the bathroom (I hope), not sharing drinks with friends (I apparently am the only one who is cold-hearted enough to do this), vaccines, wearing a condom to prevent some STDs, eating nutritious foods and regular exercise, etc.

While I expect any doctor I visit to have an understanding of public health, it’s usually not the reason why I am coming to see them. I am coming to see a doctor for very personal reasons that are a big enough deal that I have researched online for nearby doctors, called around to schedule an appointment, wasted time that day to visit them and for follow-up visits, and pay what often comes out to at least one to several hundred dollars to get taken care of. The difference is that I am your paying customer. If the government and taxpayers wanted to pay for my public health services, I’d totally be fine with that and manage my expectations likewise. Or if you are a Kaiser patient, you understand that in exchange for a really efficient and affordable healthcare system, you are a number and not a person. But this wasn’t my doctor.

5 Signs You Are Being Treated For Public Health

1. You are not at risk for a condition, but you get tested for it anyway because it is prevalent in your community

2. You are given recommendations that don’t apply to your lifestyle in any way, shape or form

3. You spend the majority of time answering your doctor’s standard line of questioning than they are answering yours

4. You are suffering from symptoms that your doctor calls “normal” and fails to help with treatment because they “aren’t that serious”

5. You are not allowed to get an expensive diagnostic test simply because it is expensive without working through if you may actually need it

 

5 Ways to Change, Really

I know doctors can be under a lot of pressure. There are really great doctors unhappy with their employers’ policies (hospitals); there are really great doctors restrained by insurance requirements; there are really great doctors who run expensive private practices; there is a really small number of really great doctors who are also innovative business leaders; and there are crap doctors who don’t care. It’s expensive and time-consuming as a patient to visit doctors by trial and error (I really feel for undiagnosed patients who do this). So I know it’s not that easy to just “change doctors”.

What I have proposed is changing the conversation with every doctor you visit. The idea is to assume that your doctor wants to help you. By changing the dynamic of the conversation, it may make it easier and more likely for you to work successfully with a variety of doctors.

1. Make sure you start the conversation.

If they ask you a question, interrupt your doctor, and re-start the conversation. It is possible to do this in a polite way and write out your needs before your visit if it helps you stay on track.

2. Make sure they answer all of your questions.

Again, you can write them out before your visit. To be fair, your doctor is limited in time depending on how much you have paid them (your insurance pays primary care doctors for 7-15 minutes of their time). If you have a list of questions, make sure to prioritize the important ones first. Ask your doctor how much time you have for your visit. See if you can e-mail them follow-up questions or schedule a longer appointment if possible to address all of them.

3. Confront them when their recommendations are insane.

I had one doctor in my early 20s tell me to quit my job. While there could have been an iota of truth in this idea – my job was kind of stressful – a more useful recommendation for a college grad with huge debt would have been going to someone to learn stress management techniques first. If a doctor gives you a recommendation and your first instinct is “impossible”, it really is impossible for you at that time. The likelihood of you actually following through is very, very low unless you face serious health side effects as a result. The doctor may not change the ultimate recommendation, but negotiate with them for middle ground before going to an extreme change in life.

4. Ask them why the diagnostic tests they recommend are important and how they work.

Some doctors do this automatically. I am an information fiend, so I often request this. And sometimes I find out that the tests they want to do really don’t make sense for me. So as a paying patient, I can say, NO. You can say no to getting tested for something that doesn’t make sense for you. In the reverse, if you’re one of those annoying patients who did research before visiting the doctor and you think you have a health condition that your doctor disagrees with and refuses testing for, ask them to work through the problem with you. If there are more affordable tests you could start with and haven’t tried yet, you can make stepping stones before launching yourself into an expensive test. I have met the people finally diagnosed with a brain tumor, with Lyme’s disease, and with appendicitis who had testing refused because they were considered expensive. If money is the only reason to not get testing, there may be a wiser path to take instead of simply not having it done.

5. Validate your own symptoms.

This one is often a struggle for me. I would love to ignore “not feeling right” because it’s easier. But if I’ve gotten to the point of going to see a doctor, I have already decided that my symptoms are seriously impacting my life. It is not the doctor’s decision to say that your symptoms are unimportant. They obviously are to you. Don’t leave an exam feeling ignored. It is possible to be polite and firmly re-state how they are important to you if your doctor dismisses them. I have become highly skeptical of the “it’s in your head” conclusion as we uncover the reality of more and more conditions that used to be “in our heads”. If the doctor simply doesn’t know how to treat your symptoms, instead of ignoring them, request who would be another doctor who could better help you.

4 August 2016

Debate is For Elections, Dialogue is How We Get Better




We Americans really suck at dialogue. Honestly, we are terrible at it. No judgements here, because me too. I have also been really terrible at dialogue. And I could be projecting right now, except I’m not. Because I’m watching our social media outlets on a daily basis and most of us sound exactly like our politicians. We either say a whole lot of nothing in an attempt to smooth things over, or we sound angry, or we are appalled, or we leave Facebook temporarily, or we cut off friends, or we throw up articles about how right we are.

It’s debatable whether our politicians lead us or if they are mere reflections of us. Most of us choose a politician because they resonate with what we already think and believe. Rarely am I challenged by a politician I elect to office. I elect because I have found an outlet for my voice.

Debate reminds me more of a presentation, a show case. The way you win is by your style, not by the facts you present. All sides have facts, or, in the case of the 2016 election cycle, now we can include our belief of facts without any due process for checking them.

When it comes to the practice, however, of making changes to improve our lives in any given day, I have never found debate to win. I have never persuaded someone to my side with debate. For a while I thought it was because I was not skilled enough. I was too passionate. I couldn’t think quickly enough to counter argue. My words escaped me. I thought back to that high school debate team I should have joined.

Over time, though, I paid more attention to the people who changed my mind and how they did it.  If it was a heated topic, we argued. If it was a simple topic, we disagreed. If it was something I knew nothing about, it was their own story or the stories of others that they shared. The conversations were personal and they were honest and vulnerable and difficult. My brain flagged these moments. Sometimes the changes I made were small, sometimes they were drastic and sometimes they could be delayed to 10 years later.

Don’t get me wrong. Facts and statistics are incredibly important still. When we use a scientific process to create them, they are meaningful. They can challenge us to re-think our realities. But I’ve sat through “history” lessons from a past boss who ran through an amazing number of facts starting with the founding of this country to prove to me I was on the wrong side. And while I listened respectfully, at first, I knew he didn’t care about me. He didn’t care to listen to me. In his ideas of what a better America would be I wasn’t included. Regardless of how accurate his facts were and how many there were, without me knowing a single fact to counter argue, I knew his main goal was simply to feel like he’d won. That wasn’t enough for me to change my mind or be impressed in any way.

Community health is a topic that is important to me. As I work with people on an individual basis to get better healthcare, I have found that the toughest part of my job is setting the standard for dialogue and helping healthcare use it. Patients only come to me when they are upset. I am a last resort and they are at a breaking point. The patient-healthcare relationship is a tricky one because it is built on the authority of the doctor as the expert. Patients put a lot of trust into their healthcare being the best and doing what’s right. And healthcare puts a lot into marketing to keep this reputation. When a patient gets into a situation where a part of healthcare fails to fulfill this role of being right and doing everything in their power to help the patient, the patient can feel angry, indignant, appalled, hurt, ignored, maligned, shamed, etc. The feelings run strong and deep when someone wrongs you while you are sick.

To resolve these issues, the default button for all parties involved is to respond more forcefully and debate why they are right. It doesn’t work. Minds seem to get further entrenched with debate. Dialogue is the strongest chance a patient has to make needed changes in their healthcare system before going to lawyers or policy makers. Dialogue is treating both sides as equals. Both have important things to say that are valid. Listening is essential and active. The goal is to come to an understanding. You must let go of ideologies, that black and white thinking, the either/or scenarios, and allow for the “and”, the gray, the middle ground. Dialogue is not a power struggle; it is a relationship builder.

I’m betting on our abilities to work together that drastic changes in healthcare can happen more simply and sooner.

Image courtesy of David DeSilva. AXIS Dance company with dancers Sonsheree Giles and Joel Brown.

3 June 2016

While We Debate About Your Human Right to Healthcare, Know Your Consumer Rights




Healthcare is not a Right was written by philosopher Leonard Peikoff at a town hall meeting on the Clinton Health Plan (a step to provide universal health care) in 1993.  It’s been updated by Lin Zinser in 2007. Depending on who is elected the next president and changes in future healthcare reform, I’m sure we’ll see more updated versions of this idea.

I want to shift the conversation. I’m not a philosopher, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a lawyer and I’m not a politician; I’m a person who helps working adults struggling with their healthcare, get the care they paid for.

When people are getting healthcare they pay for and it’s not working, it is a consumer right, not a human right.

In what other industry does the average person give a blank check to do whatever services are needed and wait for the actual cost after it’s done even in non-emergency situations?

This process of keeping consumers in the dark and figuring the details out later has allowed prices to be insanely skewed (and insane is not an exaggeration when you look at this medical cost comparison chart between the US and all other developed countries). There are many doctors, dentists and therapists I have met and worked with who do up-front pricing and they make a great living. If a business stays afloat because of “surprise” charges, it’s not a good business.

Up-front pricing is the biggest change in the healthcare industry that I fight for as a consumer right. Before I see the doctor, I want to know how much it will cost. Before I get this diagnostic test, I want to understand what it’s going to tell me and how much it will cost. Even in the emergency room where they deal with a lot of non-emergencies, there is a master spreadsheet of the cost of services and I want to see that while I’m waiting for hours to get served. We can only act as smart consumers if we know the prices and we understand why we are getting the care we get.

The idea that hospital pricing is so expensive to “make up for the people who don’t pay” is absurd. I’ll believe it when I see some actual numbers behind that sentiment. Time and again reviewing medical bills from hospitals, I don’t see how any middle class person, let alone low-income or impoverished, can afford the many hundred plus percentage markup (still not exaggerating) for routine care and standard diagnostic testing. If non-profit hospitals have a problem covering care for those who can’t afford it, either don’t be a non-profit business, or realize that not even the average American can afford your services because you don’t seem to know how to run a business. It is not your right to make patients pay for your poor business decisions and call it healthcare.

In order to drive down costs, though, healthcare industry leaders and researchers keep trying to get patients to simply not get healthcare. If patients could just avoid getting or being sick in the first place, we don’t have to pay for it. Prevention does not work 100% of the time. All of us will be sick and/or injured at some point in our lives. Disease is a part of all of our lives and all of us will die. This is the dumbest way I’ve heard to reduce pricing in the short-term. People need healthcare and we can blame them all we want for their bad health because they are old or unlucky enough to have a chronic illness that we don’t fully understand, but the truth is that healthcare pricing is inflated. Big time. Compared to all other consumer goods since 1965 that have risen 8x in cost, healthcare has risen x274. 274 TIMES GREATER! And the healthcare people are receiving often isn’t anything new or fancy that required billions of R&D dollars and time. It’s simple stuff. An old idea and technology that someone a short time ago decided to simply charge more to see if insurance and patients would pay for it.

Time and again I encourage and reassure patients that “that thing you are complaining about” you can actually demand that now. You don’t have to wait for policy change. Keep pushing for the rights you have.

Other Consumer Rights in Healthcare to consider

-Transparency in bonus or referral pay when a doctor refers you for outside testing (did you know that many hospital doctors get bonuses for referring you to other hospital doctors and extra diagnostic testing?)

-Predatory lending for spa medical treatments

-Being able to say “no” to a treatment or service in the exam room

-Clarity in your treatment options

 

image courtesy of https://oversizechecks.com/oversize-checks/over-sized-check-examples/

25 May 2016

Does ‘Eating Right’ For Obesity Fall Short of Epidemic Standards?




The healthy debate about the existence of the obesity epidemic, and trends in weight-loss programs v. fat-acceptance programs, will continue. While the public continues this discussion, we have US markets – our hospitals, specialized treatment centers, primary care, our gyms and our pharmacies – that continue to treat the obesity epidemic. By and large they are focused around changing individual behavior to eat right and exercise. This is pretty different (capitalistic, no guidance, no standards) than our response to other epidemics like the Zika and Ebola viruses. Let’s explore what it would be like to treat the obesity epidemic like an actual epidemic.

 

11 May 2016

Nutrition Research: How Crazy Claims Are Made From Really Boring, Narrow Studies




I love it when someone with a lot more money at their disposal does my work for me in an entertaining way. Thank you John Oliver for this last week’s episode on nutrition research. As a nutritionist, in many of my consultations clients asked me about the recent study on wine, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, ginseng, supplements, this diet and that diet. The problem with the results of these studies is that people often tried to apply an idea from one research study to themselves, even if the research was done on rats, on 20 college female students, on a thousand middle-aged white men from Ohio…and never thought twice that possibly this research on heart disease, cancer, liver function, etc. had no relationship to their own personal health. I don’t want to claim that the research being done is crap, but I want to caution people that nutrition research is not being repeated the way it should and is being thrown out into popular media at very early stages before it can be useful to actual application. It’s important to be critical of claims and kudos to you for discussing them with a variety of healthcare professionals that take the time to dig into the research before deciding whether it will work for you. Please enjoy:)

 

5 May 2016

Eating for Health VS Eating for Body Size




There are a wide variety of professional opinions about weight-loss, body composition, fat-acceptance, and health at every size in healthcare. As a patient it is hard when there is controversy in healthcare over something that has a huge impact on how you are diagnosed and treated. I wanted to use this as a thought experiment to help patients understand the nuances of each and how they impact your end results.

14 April 2016

HOW TO: Use Your Health Insurance AND Get More Time




45 Second How To Video

I really like the innovative ways primary care doctors are coming up with to spend more time with patients, but usually it means that patients aren’t using their health insurance and paying directly for services or memberships. For those patients who want to use a doctor within their insurance plan, here is a tip for how to get more time and still have your insurance cover it. You will still pay more, but the convenience of addressing all your needs in one visit may be worth it.

30 March 2016

(2:40Min) Breast Cancer in Kansas: The 15 Things You Need to Recover




“Because, serious, like that’s another thing. Like if someone just came through, that’s when you give them more. Like, don’t step away. They may push you away, but don’t, don’t let them push you away, because they really do need you.”

 

We couldn’t figure out the actual name for how we’re related, so we just decided on cousins. March 27th, 2014, Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer – 27 years old. For the past 2 years she has finished her treatments and is currently cancer free. I asked Maggie to take me through this because I just read this article about 1/3 of working age patients going broke or into debt after cancer treatments; this can be especially hard because cancer can come back. Since people often fall out of the public eye when they get sick, I asked her to explain what it’s like being sick and all the playing parts in her recovery. This is her list.

 

The sick part: wanting to sleep, fear, not wanting to eat, not much energy to do things, anxiety, depression

“Sunday through Thursday was just not a very good day. Wednesday was my horrible day. I just wanted to quit all day, not eat…sometimes I felt like they wanted to help out, or they had to help out, because I was ill, but I didn’t want them to feel like they had to help me.”

“…sometimes you felt kind of alone, so you wanted someone to at least be there…some days I felt comfortable just going to sleep and like other days I want them to be there for me because I’m sad. I needed someone to talk to.”

 

Her 15 Essentials to Recovery:

12 rounds of chemo

27 rounds of antibodies

5 Surgeries (double mastectomy and plastic surgery)

60 Dr. Appointments since diagnosis

Primary Care Doctor since 2006 (referred by Jed’s Mom)

Oncologist (referred by Primary Care Doctor)

Plastic Surgeon

Plastic Surgeon Nurse

Mom

Jed

Jennifer

2 Fundraisers started by friends

2 Gas Cards

Health Insurance Full Coverage

Part-time job

Community

 

What I heard in her story and every story others with serious illness or injury have shared with me is that their recovery required the full support of parents and/or spouses, community, AND supplemental financial aid programs outside of health insurance. The person hardest hit in these news articles we read are not necessarily because they don’t have health insurance coverage or good doctors; rather they are the ones without that additional support from family and friends all patients cite as being essential to their recovery. Who do you rely on to cook for you? Who do you rely on to clean your house? Who do you rely on to drive you to appointments and treatment? Paying for these services is more expensive than having someone at hand do it for you.

Final Thought: The expense of recovery goes well outside medical services – our solutions to help those in recovery should too.

 

“I’m the same person, but stronger”: 4 Other insights from Maggie about getting proper care

  1. Have a doctor that you like:

You know when a doctor is doing it as a job and when they really care…I’ve switched doctors before when I felt like they weren’t listening to me.”

Maggie loved her oncologist. She gushed about all of her doctors and one nurse in particular who said some encouraging words during tough times. Most people find doctors they want to work with by word of mouth and it certainly worked out for Maggie in this case. I can’t imagine being seriously ill and NOT liking your doctor. But Maggie recounted a story about her best friend who had breast cancer before she did. When she went to her doctor’s visits, she took a number and was called in by her number instead of her name.

  1. Your community will surprise you:

This is where the gas card comes in. How rude of me, but my initial thought was that this was kind of a measly gift, but Maggie explained she and her mom drove a 4-hour round trip to Kansas City for every doctor’s visit. Some nights they slept in KC because they had to see the doctor again the very next day. No matter how “measly” (my bad) you think it might be, these gifts matter. A group from her hometown started providing gas cards as gifts for cancer patients.

  1. There are so many programs out there to help you with finances:

When Maggie and I were talking about the article I read, she was surprised that anyone couldn’t find programs they needed to help with costs. She recalls a handful of programs just at the hospital alone to help out patients with expenses. There were a number of cancer-focused community funds as well. This doesn’t include the government programs most people don’t realize apply to them. We wondered, how is it possible for a patient to go through treatment without ever hearing about these programs? Or if they are, is there a reason why they aren’t applying?

  1. The Unexpected Benefit: it’s nice to have one

Maggie has childhood diabetes and was diagnosed with a rare condition known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis in her teens. She was already taking standard treatment for both conditions with medication and supplements in the morning and evening and monthly had to have scar tissue scraped from her throat (to put it simply).

After chemotherapy, her symptoms for Wegener’s dramatically improved and cut out 2/3 of her doctors’ visits. Her doctor is starting a trial for other Wegener patients to undergo a form of chemotherapy to treat their condition.

Thank you Maggie for sharing with us! We love you and appreciate all you do for others. Friends and Family don’t forget to sign up for the Relay for Life event this summer!