Haaaave you met Layla? Layla is one of the amazing women who is a part of my blogging/Twitter community-my “friends inside the computer”. These friends have become so dear to me, and even though I’ve never met them IRL (though I plan to one day!), we talk every day and they are always there to cheer me up, make me laugh, or teach me about something I didn’t know. When something is going on with one of these women, I worry about it, and think about how I can help, but usually, all I can do is offer a word of encouragement. This is luckily not the case with Layla, as this amazing group of female bloggers have banded together in #OperationLayla to support her in something truly devastating. Here’s her story:
One month after her 30th birthday, Layla was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer (1A Adenocarcinoma). She was extraordinarily lucky that it was caught early, and was able to have a simple surgery to remove the cancerous cells.
Three years later, Layla was in horrible pain that affected nearly every aspect of her life. Temporarily uninsured due to a job change, she paid out of pocket last October to go to the doctor and make sure the cancer had not returned. Thankfully, it had not. However, her doctor believes that she has pelvic adhesions and Endometriosis due to the previous surgery, but it can’t be diagnosed until an additional surgery (laparoscopy) is performed. The doctor also found out Layla has cervical stenosis, which basically means her cervix has completely shut down due to the scar tissue from the previous surgery. These issues make her miserable most of the time, making simple things like going to the bathroom and menstruation horribly painful, and sexual intercourse impossible. He stated that if she wanted to have children one day, even sperm could not pass through her cervix, and she would have to have intrauterine insemination.
The doctor wanted to schedule surgery as soon as the insurance at her new job went into effect. Her company fired her the day her insurance became valid, ten days before Christmas, plainly stating that it was because of her health issues.
Fortunately, she got on her husband’s insurance, which went into effect February 1st. As soon as she could, Layla scheduled surgery for March 22nd. Then her insurance company dropped a bomb: because she went to the doctor (even as a self-pay patient) within a three month period prior to her enrollment date, they were considering her health issues to be a pre-existing condition, and would not insure any doctor visits, medication, or surgery for 388 days.
When you are in near constant pain and can’t work, 388 days is a long time to wait. The sooner Layla can have this surgery, the sooner she can return to work (hopefully with a nicer company!) and start living her life again. Her doctor has been nice enough to work out a deal with her if she can pay as a cash patient: he decreased the amount of her surgery to $4,000, and the cost of the anesthesia to $500, with additional fees for biopsies of removed tissue to be determined.
The problem is, Layla is unemployed due to this, has used her savings to pay for living expenses and medical bills, and has been denied loans for the surgery because of her unemployment status. She does not have close family, so she can’t ask them for help. Surgery is scheduled for March 22nd, and Layla and her husband are still trying to secure a loan through several banks.
So how can you help? Anything you’re willing to contribute can make a difference. The #OperationLayla girls are organizing a bake sale, and doing some Ebay auctions, so if you want to participate that way, that’s awesome. If you have a blog/Twitter/facebook and would like to spread the word that way, that’d be awesome too. You can also click the donate button on the right. Donations are made through PayPal, so they are completely secure. All proceeds go straight to Layla for her medical bills, and will not be used for anything else. If we raise more than is necessary for Layla’s medical bills, the remaining funds will go toward earthquake/tsunami relief. If you want to get involved, leave me a comment or email me at ohfortheloveofblog [at] gmail [dot] com .