Client Stories

Ramon’s Story

Ramon’s Story

When doctors at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute removed the pads from Ramon’s eyes following his glaucoma treatment, the first thing he saw was his adult son who had driven him to the visit. It was the first time Ramon had seen his son’s face clearly in several years. “I felt very emotional,” Ramon says, “and to be honest, I cried.” Ramon, who immigrated to the US from Mexico several decades ago, now lives in Tigard with his family where he manages a grocery store. While his vision problems finally began to endanger his job last spring, he sought help at...

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Meet Marina

Meet Marina

“So many beautiful things have happened in my life,” says 71-year-old Marina. Smile on her face, she proudly recalls raising her 4 sons in a hut with a thatched roof in her native Peru. “For money, my husband worked as a driver while I fried chickens for my neighbors. Rain leaked through our roof,” she says, “and I would pray to God, asking for a stronger roof.” When Marina’s husband died in a car accident while their children were still teenagers, her family’s financial situation went from challenging to perilous. Marina saved the little she...

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Meet Diane and Richard

Meet Diane and Richard

Enrolling one person in health insurance can be complicated enough, but try enrolling your whole family. “And we’re a big family,” explains Project Access NOW client Diane, “like multiple-mini-vans-to-take-a trip-together’ big. Managing health insurance for all of us gets overwhelming fast.” That’s why Diane and her husband Richard started to get nervous when, after assuming legal guardianship of their newborn grandchild, Jeremiah, they learned that Richard’s recent change in income meant Jeremiah, wouldn’t qualify for health insurance...

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Meet Vilma

Meet Vilma

When Vilma walked into the Legacy Good Samaritan emergency room back in 2015, her new husband Carl at her side, she recalls that she felt terrified, and it wasn’t just because she was having an emergency asthma attack and couldn’t breathe. “I can hear the rattle in my chest, but in my head all I’m thinking is, ‘I have no insurance, I have no insurance, how are we going to pay for this when I have no insurance?'” Vilma came to the United States from Costa Rica in 2011 with her husband Carl, a U.S. citizen. The two had met several years prior on one of...

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Gary’s Story

Gary’s Story

Gary has seen a lot in his life and is more than happy to tell you about most of it. “I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the Toulumne Cherokee reservation. I’m Cherokee-Chickasaw. I came to Oregon fourteen years ago, following the woman I loved.” Gary makes and sells beaded necklaces. He teaches Kung Fu and is excited to (safely) demonstrate kicks and holds on the nearest willing participant. Something I don’t learn about him until thirty minutes into our conversation, and something almost none of our staff who worked with him had known, is...

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Caralee’s Story

Caralee’s Story

Caralee, like many of our clients, came to us with a problem that had a simple solution, it just happened to be a solution that was impossible for her to access on her own. Caralee takes Coumadin, a prescription blood-thinner that keeps blood clots from forming in her body that could lead to sudden strokes, heart attacks, or other frightening complications. She’s taken it for years and been able to afford it because, for years, her customer service job paid her just little enough that she qualified for free health insurance under the Oregon Health Plan. But when her income changed in October...

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