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HomeNewsGeorgia Family Gets Help After Almost Losing Insurance for Teen’s Cancer Battle

Georgia Family Gets Help After Almost Losing Insurance for Teen’s Cancer Battle

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Source: StefanieJNHI/Twitter

Fifteen-year-old Alexis McRae and her family faced a challenging journey as she battled cancer. Amidst the struggle, an additional hardship emerged—the imminent threat of losing her healthcare coverage.

Fifteen-year-old cancer survivor Alexis, also known as Lexy, has been battling the disease for the past four years. Last Friday, her mother, Katy McRae, disclosed to USA TODAY that the family from Columbus, Georgia, was profoundly shaken by an alarming letter. 

The letter delivered the distressing news that their application for the renewal of a Medicaid waiver intended for children with life-threatening illnesses had been inexplicably denied.

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The correspondence provided ambiguous guidelines for initiating an appeal, offering no means to track the request’s status. According to McRae, the provided phone number led to another number, creating a frustrating cycle with no apparent route to obtain the much-needed answers.

“Frustration would not even begin to describe it. When you have a child who is medically frail and needs something and you literally cannot give it to them, it is the the absolutely most helpless feeling,” McRae said. “Because there is something that you could be doing … but you’re caught in a trap and a cycle, and there’s nothing new on your end that you can do.”

A seemingly miraculous event unfolded in the eleventh hour before the denial became irreversible. Through the assistance of the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, the family garnered the attention of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who intervened just in the nick of time to reinstate Lexy’s insurance.

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Last year, Lexy had the opportunity to meet Gov. Brian Kemp when she served as a childhood representative during Georgia’s declaration of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

McRae recounted that during their meeting, Lexy shared her personal journey of being diagnosed with osteosarcoma and undergoing treatment. She also read a heartfelt letter she had written to the governor.

“Chemo is the worst. Being in the hospital for 3-5 days sometimes makes me feel sick (and) nauseous but also lonely and isolated,” Lexy wrote when she was 14. “I’ve missed so much school not because of cancer but because of the side effects of treatment.”

McRae said she believes that experience “put a face to her” and may have inspired Kemp to help the family.

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Dean Crowe, the founder and CEO of the Rally Foundation, played a crucial role in bringing Lexy’s case to Gov. Brian Kemp’s attention. Recalling the pivotal moment when the teen’s insurance was reinstated, Crowe expressed her determination to assist Lexy, citing a personal connection and describing her as a resilient “fighter.”

But, she says, hopefully, “we are in a position to have a very open conversation with that.” She continued: “And I think that we have the ear of the governor, who saw that this was really a dire situation.”

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