A letter from one of our patients

Universal blue circle symbol for diabetes
Universal blue circle symbol for diabetes

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a patient at the Madison County Free Clinic.  I would like to tell a little of life’s story.

I have always been a working man. I started out working at 12 years old between the school years and on weekends. I worked for my uncle, building homes. I did this for about 5 years until I got out of school. I immediately went to work full time as a mechanic. I worked for many years as a technician and service manager for a local family-owned business.

But let’s back up a little. When I was in my mid to late twenties, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And also severe gouty arthritis. Over the years, the conditions became extreme. By the time I was in my 40’s, I had diabetic nerve damage and also joint damage and circulation problems in my feet and legs. The pain at times was unbearable. I continued working until I was 52 years old. At that point, I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what to do.  My doctors had told me that I needed to get off my feet before I ended up losing them. So, with no other choice, I had to leave a job that I loved and the people that I had cared for and worked with for many years.

Now, what was I going to do? The last time I picked up my insulin at the pharmacy before my insurance ran out, I asked the pharmacist how much insulin would cost when I had to pay for it? The answer about floored me. One month’s supply of both types of insulin was going to be $997 and change.  This was very bad news.

Thankfully, one of my nurses, at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, told me about a program with the manufacturer of the insulin. So, my wife did all the paperwork and sent it to the drug manufacturer. With the help of the Free Clinic, we were approved to get my insulin at no cost. This helped greatly!

Well, it’s been 5 years. Every year, I have to re-qualify. The wonderful staff at Madison Free Clinic does this for me. Along with approval from my Doctor, they submit my paperwork and every year I’ve been approved and continue to get my insulin at no cost. This is literally a lifesaver. I don’t know how I could possible manage to get my insulin without the help of the Free Clinic.

After having nearly 40 years of work history, the hardest thing I ever had to do was walk into the Madison Free Clinic and ask for help. I was delightfully surprised! I met some of the most caring and respectful people I have ever met in my life. My very special thanks to Diana Kornegay and Brenda Clements and all the staff at Madison Free Clinic.