Bebe Taian: Project Unmei: Better Health for Destiny

August 17, 2012

Project Unmei: Better Health for Destiny

Let's talk about a serious issue we have in America, and how it affects real people. Notably, my sister.

Most of my readers seem to be American, so we know all about the problems with our healthcare system. Namely, that even if you can afford health insurance (and about 60 million of us can't), the insurance company can deny claims at any time- leaving you footing a bill that should have been covered. Appeals are time-consuming, costly, and all but impossible to get. So it's no surprise to us that getting, retaining, and using insurance for a person with multiple chronic and potentially fatal illnesses is a trial in itself. Then, if that is accomplished, you still have to deal with co-pays. Co-pays are charges you incur when using your insurance when they don't cover the entirety of the costs of something, say medication, or a doctor's visit fee. They rack up quickly. Then come costs for transportation, car repairs as a result of so much driving to and from almost daily doctors' appointments, expenses while my sister is hospitalised (sometimes for weeks on end)... and of course, being a single mother and having to do all this stuff, my mom can't keep jobs either because she has to take off work so often. So there's the 'normal' living expenses like food and shelter, too.

Social Security is supposed to help the disabled pay for a portion of their living expenses. We get $100. Not even enough for a month's worth of groceries for the girl. $100 divided by 31 days is $3.22 a day, or $1.07 per meal. Good luck getting healthy food with $1. That doesn't cover her vitamins, medications (she's on about seven or so a day), or things like the air purifier she needs to combat her asthma and allergies in her own home. Basically, $100 is a slap in the face, a reminder of how impossible it is to just get basic necessities.

I tend to work a lot to keep a roof over my own head- I have a job at a restaurant, I sell religious supplies, and for the Winter/Spring part of the year, I sell off the kimono I've imported. I've even sold some of my private collection this year to make ends meet. I haven't been able to import much of anything this year due to finances; I can't afford to look long-term at gains anymore. A luxury only the wealthy can afford. This means I don't see Destiny as much as I'd like to, and also, that I can't afford to help out the way I used to. I wrote about taking off time from work to see her when she was hospitalized for a month back in March. My mom can't keep up on expenses on her own, and I'm not in a position to help her directly anymore.

So what I need from you is to tell people about my new project, Project Unmei. Project Unmei is ongoing; right now, you can visit my IndieGoGo campaign to raise $5,000 this month for various expenses related to her constant doctor's visits, medications, and getting her the air purifier she needs. She also has a therapy animal, a guinea pig named 'Mama', that she cares for. It's a source of stress relief, and doesn't live in her bedroom, so she isn't likely to have problems with keeping her until she gets her heart transplant. But all of that stuff costs thousands of dollars a month- and that doesn't cover basic living expenses! Since the IndieGoGo fundraiser only lasts 45 days, I have a section on the BebeTaian website where I'll post sale items to benefit her whenever I can.

You can FB about it, Twitter about it, forward the link to your friends through e-mail- however you like. If it's possible to donate even $1, please do! Even a few bucks can pay off a little gas money for her next appointment, or cover a cheaper co-pay on her medicines.

Ookini arigatou-san dosu!

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