This is Annie’s song. Sometimes the words are not poetic, and the notes are a bit strained—but it is her song nonetheless. Annie became part of the Larry’s Steps family a few months ago. A young twenty-six-year-old woman, a mom of a vivacious six-year-old named Oliver, a hairdresser, a friend, a lover of life … and a melanoma skin cancer warrior.
Annie lives in Charleston, South Carolina. She always thought she would have time to get health insurance—after all, she is just twenty-six. Annie’s song was vibrant and joyful. That is, until melanoma struck. Two surgeries later, bill collectors were encircling her—as if they were circling the enemy. Her song became one of uncertainty and pain.
We at Larry’s Steps sent some funding to help Annie. She, even in her pain, was extremely grateful. Her friends surrounded her with love and support. The melody changed again, to one of hope.
That was until today. Annie had been receiving a drug called interferon. Interferon is necessary to treat melanoma. It has had good results. Annie’s melanoma had already spread to her lymph nodes. She was told she would receive no more treatment unless she could find a way to pay out of pocket! Annie called all sorts of organizations for help—even the company which makes interferon. There was red tape … mounds of red tape ensued. She is now on a waiting list, which may—and I reiterate, may—help in three weeks. Annie does not have that kind of time. She know this.
“I will just die now,” Annie wrote to me. Where are the big foundations? The American Cancer Society? I’ll tell you. They’re nowhere near assisting those financially who are fighting melanoma skin cancer! So, today, at this hour in time, Annie Sheehan’s song has almost become a dirge of despair. Annie, and others, cannot go quietly into the dark night! They want to live … they deserve to live!
Help us recreate Annie’s song to one of hope and promise again. Let it become so loud, with love and support, that all will hear it. Visit AnnieFightsCancer.com or LarrysSteps.org. Write to the American Cancer Society and to law makers.
Annie’s song must be heard there, but for the grace of God.