Client Stories

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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Gerardo’s Story

Gerardo’s Story

When Project Access NOW client Gerardo walked into our office to speak to us for this article, he was pleased to find an old friend waiting for him. Gerardo and Project Access NOW’s own Program Implementation Specialist Sasha Viches first met in 2013, when Gerardo sought help for pain in his foot at Outside In’s free clinic. Sasha was employed there at the time. At Outside In, Gerardo learned that the pain in his foot was casused by peripheral neuropathy, an early sign of diabetes. This diagnosis explained the vision problems he’d been experiencing. “At night, I would...

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Sonji’s Story

Sonji’s Story

When Sonji moved to Portland in 2011, it was with the goal of turning her passion for helping others into a career as a nonprofit professional. That goal seemed to be getting closer when, in 2012 she found a temporary position working with the local chapter of a major nonprofit organization. Sonji enjoyed the satisfaction of her job enough to overlook the fact that she didn’t receive health insurance. When she began to notice some unusual changes in her health, though, the issue of her insurance became a lot more important. “I started having insomnia, loss of appetite, stomach...

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Elvia’s Story

Elvia’s Story

Elvia, like many of the clients we serve, remains unable to access health insurance under the Affordable Care Act due to her undocumented legal status. She works hard to help support her family and even pays taxes but, when she learned that certain symptoms she’d been experiencing were due to severe endometriosis and would require immediate medical attention, she knew right away that the necessary procedure would likely be well beyond what she could afford. “First I was worried about my health,” says Elvia, “but then I was even more worried about the money. I was...

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Noe’s Story

Noe’s Story

The soreness and cramps in his groin, buttocks and legs were so debilitating for Noe, he was unable to stand up straight or to move in and out of cars as he was required to do in his job as a car salesman. So he had to stop working. With no job and no health insurance, Noe and his wife Kim weren’t sure where to turn. They learned about The Wallace Medical Concern and went to the clinic for help. The team at Wallace referred Noe to Project Access NOW to help arrange for an MRI. The results revealed Noe had spinal stenosis. Physical therapy was not successful and it was determined that he...

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Monica’s Story

Monica’s Story

Monica felt ill and had so much pain after she ate she could barely walk. A visit to the Essential Health Clinic revealed her need for further testing to determine the cause. Because Monica was unable to work and lacked health insurance, Essential Health Clinic referred her to Project Access NOW for help. A Project Access NOW care coordinator arranged for tests at Tuality Hospital, which revealed that Monica was suffering from a post-operative peri-umbilical hernia, the result of a prior cesarean section. Adding to her pain was the discovery of gall stones. Monica was connected with general...

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