Richard is 50 years old and lives in Christian County. He has M.S., is unable to work, and on disability. Because Richard is a low-income parent, his 16-year-old son qualifies for Medicaid coverage. When his son was 10 years old, he began to complain of debilitating headaches. An MRI revealed that Richard’s son had a malignant tumor the size of a golf ball pressing on his pituitary gland. He underwent emergency surgery and the tumor was removed successfully. After 8 months of regular radiation and chemotherapy, Richard’s son was declared cancer-free. Richard is forever grateful for Missouri’s Medicaid program. Without health coverage for his son, Richard would have had to file for bankruptcy in order to pay for his son’s cancer treatments and surgery. As a parent with a fixed income, he says having Medicaid coverage saved them financially.
Richard’s son emerged from his ordeal stronger and more grateful than ever. He is a mentor to his peers and an inspiration to those around him. Without the coverage he received through Medicaid, Richard does not think his son would have survived. “He knows he’s been given a gift and he wants to use his experience to help others.”