Living with a Disease Without a Cure

Our pals at LearnVest have a really nice piece by a woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and how the disease is bankrupting her family:

The thing you need to understand about MS is that there is no cure. There’s no getting better–there is only slowing down the progression of the disease. Statistically, my life expectancy is about average, but the last years of my life will look different from other people as my disease progresses. I’m lucky that I now have full mobility, with only the occasional muscle twinge–and I keep it that way with a daily self-injection.

As the years go by, the price goes up. Since I was diagnosed, the prescription for the injection has risen from $2,800 to $3,600 a month. If I didn’t have health insurance, which covers all but $250 a month, it would cost me $43,000 a year.

These numbers sound insane–but what would you pay to be able to see? Or walk? Or swallow? It’s all relative. I look at my syringe every day, hoping that the $120 dose is working.

She’s also prepared to get a divorce from her husband (but continue living with him) so her finances are no longer tied to his. It’s a very sad account.

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