Crystal, St. Louis

Crystal, a 28-year-old mother from St. Louis City, had leukemia as a young teenager. She has been in remission since 2000 but constantly worries her cancer is back or will come back. She lives with a never-ending fear that she has leukemia and that she will not live to see her children grow up. Crystal is currently working full-time as a cook at Burger King while she cares for her two small children. Because Crystal receives hourly wages, she is not eligible for health insurance benefits from her employer, even though she has been a loyal, hardworking employee for seven years. Crystal has not been to the doctor since her son was born over six years ago. When she was diagnosed with cancer, her medicine decreased her heart rate and she was advised to see a doctor once a year for an annual heart test. She has never received that test. In Crystal’s words, “every penny I earn is used to support my two small children.” She stated, “When I was first diagnosed with leukemia, my symptoms started with bruising. What scares me is that I have constant bruising. I actually have new bruises every single day.” Having insurance through Medicaid would allow Crystal, in her words, “To not wake up everyday worried if I had cancer again.”