How to Keep One Woman from Drowning in Myelodysplastic Syndrome Debt

You know that saying people use when someone’s facing a flood of crises? “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle?” Depending on your point of view that may well be true, but when you’re in the middle of a downpour it can be tough to feel that way. And when the waters are rising up to your chin, it sure doesn’t hurt to have a helping hand reaching out to you.

Carmen Dixon of Puerto Rico can relate. She fought breast cancer in 2009 and 2011, undergoing first radiation treatment and then a mastectomy. Her husband died on the last day of her radiation, and six months after her mastectomy she lost her house to a fire.

And just this year came a new insult to injury: A diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome—which itself was the result of Carmen’s radiation treatment.

snow skiing avalanche adrenaline extreme sports myelodysplastic
Sometimes you can stay ahead of the avalanche…. but when it comes to medical debt, most people aren’t this lucky. [Source:]
Every day, people like Carmen facing health crises are discovering that someone diagnosed with one serious disease isn’t automatically granted immunity from other serious diseases. Sometimes, the two are directly related.

Carmen is currently receiving chemotherapy to get her ready for a bone marrow transplant to treat her myelodysplastic syndrome. But here’s the kicker: She has to have the treatment in Seattle, Washington, which is almost as far removed geographically as you can get from Puerto Rico and still be in the United States.

The distance between Puerto Rico and Seattle is basically a galaxy far, far away when you’re drowning in medical debt. [Source:]
And after she receives the transplant, she’ll need to stay in an apartment through at least December, with an in-home caregiver by her side 24-7. As you can imagine, none of that will come cheap. Carmen does have a partner coming with her, but neither will be able to work during that time.

But there’s something YOU can do right now to lend Carmen a helping hand.

Her co-workers in Puerto Rico have set up a medical expense fund to help cover the cost of her living expenses in Seattle. If you’re able to make a donation, checks can be made out to “Medical fund for Carmen Dixon” and sent to Islanders Bank in Washington, P.O. Box 909, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. The phone number for Islanders Bank is 360-378-2265.

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Help Carmen’s friends help her! [Source:]
Regardless of whether you can make a donation or not, you can certainly join us in wishing Carmen well as she fights myelodysplastic syndrome. Here’s hoping she gets the strength and help she needs to handle everything that’s been thrown at her, and that plenty of clear, sunny days are ahead of her.

Ronald Ledsen

Ronald Ledsen

After emigrating from his native Sweden, Ronald spent a stint in the Merchant Marines while trying to work out what he wanted to do with his life. He discovered a love of writing while helping a friend write anonymous Harry Potter fan-fiction online; he discovered meaning to his writing when he began journaling after an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Ronald is most relaxed when spending quiet time with his wife, two sons, and hyperactive cat.

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