Terika and her mom, Brenda Grant, in the hospital schoolroom planning their trip. Terika Brown, 16, came to Children’s in February 2001, with a sore knee. Doctors discovered she had osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. It took 13 months, 11 surgeries, an artificial knee, chemotherapy, a tremendous effort from our medical team and support staff, and lots of loving care from her mom, Brenda Grant, to see her through. Today she’s an honor student entering her senior year of high school and has her eye on going to the University of Southern California.
Children's Hospital patient, Terika Brown, 16, a cancer survivor, and her mom Brenda Grant, recently helped lobby against $10 billion in proposed Medicaid cuts, cuts which would threaten California's Medi-Cal program, the same program that paid for Terika's treatments.
Because Medicaid helps pay for California's Medi-Cal program, Medicaid cuts also threaten California's health insurance for eligible families without health insurance.
Terika and her mom appeared in June, on behalf of Children's Hospital, at the National Association of Children's Hospitals' National Advocacy Day event. They were two of about 50 patients and 200 officials from more than 200 children's hospitals, all of them protesting proposed cuts to federal funding for Medicaid and children's hospitals graduate medical education.
"I wanted them to know what Children's Hospital did for me and needs to do for other kids like me," said Terika. "It's really a matter of life and death."
"It had to have had an impact on Congress," said Brenda. She called the whole experience "very emotional, seeing so many children together who have been through so much."
Terika came to Children's in February 2001 with a sore knee. Doctors discovered she had a form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. It took 13 months, 11 surgeries, an artificial knee, chemotherapy, a tremendous effort from our medical team and support staff, and lots of loving care from her mom to see her through.
Terika is now an honor student entering her senior year of high school. After graduation she hopes to go to the University of Southern California.
Terika's story is an example of the precarious state of healthcare funding for American children. The very day Terika was diagnosed with cancer, her mom's health insurance at a new job was set to start. But Brenda had to stop working so she could care for Terika. That left them without health insurance. Brenda didn't know how she would pay for Terika's health needs.
Fortunately for Terika, a Children's caseworker helped Brenda apply for Medi-Cal. She qualified and Medi-Cal paid for Terika's care.
Help prevent threatened Medi-Cal cuts
Congress is still considering cutting $10 billion from Medicaid, the federal program which helps pay for California's Medi-Cal health insurance. But you can help stop those cuts. Tell your Congressional representatives how you feel about Medicaid and Medi-Cal. Visit Children's advocacy efforts Web page and join with others supporting Children's Hospital.
You can also go directly to a Web page sponsored by the National Association of Children's Hospitals.