Amanda's Story

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My interest in assisting recently diagnosed patients and their families began when a very close family member was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer. He was completely asymptomatic, and the cancer was found incidentally and came as a complete shock.

Given the rarity of this particular form of the disease, information was scarce and qualified doctors scarcer. There was not a single doctor in our home state of Florida who had any experience in the field, and yet our insurance company tried to penalize us (contrary to policy terms) for leaving the state.

It took countless hours of phone calls over the course of several months along with two appeals to get the coverage to which he was entitled. In the meantime, we travelled across the country to meet with the doctors who had meaningful knowledge on the best courses of treatment. The best of the best had different opinions, and we were left with an extremely difficult decision as to where to go and who to trust.

We conducted research, read statistics, and sought advice from friends and other professionals.

In the end, I feel confident that my family chose the hospital that provided us with the best possible outcome. We were extremely pleased with our doctor, the facilities, and the innovative treatment protocol.

But, I know that not everyone can find the time, energy, or peace of mind to pull together and face these challenges without help. Not everyone has the resources to identify all of the existing treatment options or the training to battle insurance companies. I know that, in the midst of coping with potentially life-altering news, it can be nearly impossible to sift through the medical jargon being laid at your feet in order to properly understand and rationally evaluate what the professionals are telling you.

When it comes to healthcare, everyone should feel as though they are making the best, most informed choices given their own unique set of circumstances. I firmly believe that knowledge is power -- knowing and understanding your situation and all of your options is the only way to make the most advantageous and acceptable decisions about your medical care.

I decided that I need to use my skill set as an advocate, researcher, and student of psychology to ease the burden on families facing situations similar to my own. I truly hope I can help you and your loved ones gain control over a seemingly unmanageable situation.