[UPDATE June 20] Because of a Medical Mixup, Local Man Needs the Community’s Help

Garrett Vance

Garrett Vance and family.

Garrett Vance, who went to McKinleyville High School, fought back childhood leukemia only to have a lesion on his lip threaten his life. According to his GoFundMe page, 32-year-old Vance developed a lesion on his lip several years ago that now is cancerous and spreading into his lymph nodes.

Garrett Vance

The lesion on Garrett Vance’s face has spread.

His sister, Tasha Rose, said that her brother “has been working at Humboldt sanitation fresh out of high school and is now a recycle truck driver for them.”

The page reports, “Due to his pre-existing condition, he fell through the cracks in terms of medical coverage. Medi-Cal put a freeze on his coverage; they did not cancel it, which forbade them to purchase health insurance elsewhere until the issue was resolved. Because he could not get the proper medical attention, the lesion became cancerous and has spread into his jaw, bones and lymph nodes. Because of this error/misjudgment within the system, Garrett and his family have had to pay out of pocket for medical expenses for the past 2 1/2 years.”

On April 16, Vance was supposed to go in for surgery but a cold pushed back the operation for another two weeks. If you would like to help Vance and his family, click here to be taken to his GoFundMe.

UPDATE June 20: An auction to benefit Garrett Vance is this Saturday, June 22 at 5 p.m. at the Moose Lodge in Mckinleyville. There will also a spaghetti dinner.

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58 comments

  • 🕯Good morning Kym, we’ll see what we can do brother. 👍🏾

  • Wouldn't it be nice

    Does anyone see the need for MEDICARE FOR ALL, single payer health care for all Americans in this story???😪

    • no i dont . see medi cal is a sort of medical for all program if i am not mistaken… and this is the sort of thing that happens. if you dont beleive me try looking up the number of folks who kill themselves because of the lack of proper health care at the va …. the system the burn says everyone enjoys for the most part. out of all my veteran friends and myself included there is only one who hasnt had a near death experance at the handsof the va.

      • It is not a Medicare for all. Medi cal is income based and if you make 0.01 cent more than their guidelines you don’t qualify for medi cal. So basically anyone who has a job that makes even the slightest over minimum wage or even minimum wage does not qualify.

      • Vietnam vet with disabilities here. Have had excellent care from the V.A. Know lots of other vets with same experience. I am sure that in a system as big as the V.A. health care there will always be exceptions, just as there are in private health care. Have been misdiagnosed twice by private doctors that led to serious complications. That’s the way things are.

        • thank you for your service first off. and thats outstanding that you are reciving proper care through the va. saddly many of your brothers and sisters havent and arent. if it is the system size that allows so many to fall through the cracks i hardly see calling for a even larger system and expecting it to work in the brightest thing to do.
          if our health care system si so bad here in the states why is it that given the option people from all over the world come to us to have work done when money isnt a factor ? because we have the best health care in the world money can buy is why,the problem is those who live here dont seem to want to pay for it themselves or would rather spend their money on other things.
          the simpliest soluation to this problem is to mandate that all health insurance companies be removed from stock exchanges where we all know publicly traded companies are required to do everything they can to create a profit. see they are telling you one thing while trying to get you to sign a contract with them about how much they care about you and how unlikely it is for them to deny potentially life saving treatments based on cost, them when they are attempting to get you to invest in their company they are telling you how much money profits growth and the like they are making.
          people wake up !! they cant be doing both they are either lieing to you as an investor or lieing to you as a customer. either way it isnt the doctors it isnt the lawyers it isnt who is paying or how it is the stockmarket that has our health care system so jacked up. it is your 401k your 403b it is your retirement accounts that has you trying to decide wither to buy food or medicines not the other way around, and the thing is they hope everyone is to busy blaming everyone else that you dont smarten up and call them on it,but they aso know that if you do ,you wont be able to really do much because you are depending on them to make you money reguardless what they deny and to who to get it aslong as it isnt you or your family.

          • Your description is apt, we have the “best health care in the world money can buy.” If you have the money to pay for top-quality care, and know which places provide it, you can get it. If you are a wage-earner or on government support, your standard American health care will simply be poorer and more expensive. This is not controversial — just read instead of echoing.

        • Now Vets (finally) have even more choices, both in depth and in breadth.
          For instance,

          “President Donald Trump signed a landmark bill Wednesday to replace the troubled Veterans Choice Program and expand private health care options amid a fight between the White House and Congress over how to pay for it.

          The bill, the VA Mission Act, would also expand caregivers assistance to the families of disabled veterans and order an inventory of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ more than 1,100 facilities with a long-term view to trimming excess.” …

          https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/06/06/trump-signs-55-billion-bill-replace-va-choice-program.html

          There’s other news for Vets too, this is just the latest.
          23 pages found right here, to sift through. https://www.whitehouse.gov/search/?s=veteran+health+care

      • As a disabled vet new to this area, i will say i have had almost excellent health care through the va here in eureka. Yes the wait times are a bit long, but ive never not been treated well by the team the have me assigned to. Im grateful that i have health care because a few years ago before the va got me into the system, i was almost close to eating a bullet.

        • That’s good to hear, that they’ve been a good team to work with.
          Even more good news is, they’ve extended the GI Joe bill into a forever bill. No more fear of every 15 year desk jockeys dropping the ball.

          ” I was pleased to sign into law in 2017 the “Forever G.I. Bill,” which lifted a 15-year limit on veterans’ access to the G.I. Bill education benefits they have rightfully earned, making them available throughout a veteran’s lifetime.”
          https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-presidential-message-on-the-75th-anniversary-o-1835761455

          If anybody isn’t receiving the care they need, be sure to file a report. It’s not the administration rippin you a new one, it’s the desk jockey activists behind the desk. They’re still weeding the callous ones out.

      • Medi Cal will pay for costs of some treatments, but will come after your estate when you die. Medicare, which we pay into through taxes, is available for those qualifying (paid their raxes) when they retire. But Medicare pays for 80% of your hospital bills. To have meaningful health care coverage as a retiree, you must subscribe to several different “Jedi-gap insurance policies, and you still run into “the donut hole” if you have even minor prescription meds.

        Medicare For All, as currently proposed, pays for all coverage, eliminates Medi-gap, eliminates supplemental insurance, and eliminates the donut hole, and replaces employer-provided insurance. It replaces the VA health care system.Hopefully, it replaces all the fancy taxpayer-funded insurance for politicians and they get the same treatment as the rest of us. You go to your doctor your hospital, your provider, and the government pays the bill. It is a true single-payer system.

        • In my 1911 I trust

          Yeah just like Canada. Awesome sign us all up. Except the government doesn’t pay for it, we do. Those are our tax dollars. My friend is a contractor up around Tofino, Canada. Cool place, he rakes in a sweet 80,000 per year. He pays 40,000 in taxes to the gov’t but he has free healthcare. For some reason he’s not too happy about their single payer system. And another thing, if we were to offer free healthcare our border should be secured just like Canada’s border before that option is even thought about, much less talked about.

        • FYI medi-cal no longer comes after your estate when you die.

    • No handouts from the government.
      That’s mootch mentality.
      Be responsible for yourself.
      And help others when possible.
      We as a community can help this brother.
      The state and county have cut us off at the knees.
      But theres still a ton of cash in the hills.

      C’mon everyone pitch in!
      Help one of our own.
      Please!!!

      • uhhh medical care for all would not be a handout from the government, we pay for it when we pay taxes!! duhh!! except I know a lot of people in the hills that don’t pay taxes, so…

        • Your taxes dont cover that.
          Dont tax me any more to help people who squandered their opportunities and dont work as hard as the rest of us.
          California is expensive.
          If you can’t afford to be here go to where you can afford.
          Foriegners are out competing the morons weve bred.
          Be self reliant. Share your excess with others.
          Being a citizen does not entitle you to anything but opportunity.
          Dont be a leach.

      • Medicare for all is not a government “handout” it is a taxpayer funded program, paid for by all citizens for the common good.
        You know, like war.

        • Medicare is not paid by all. It is a specific tax that comes out of wages and selfemployment. And those specific taxes are paid for decades before the person gets to use the benefit. Imagine that- paying ahead on the expectation you will need it later.

    • MEDICARE FOR ALL would solve so many problems like this. Do you know there are over 65,000 medical bankruptcies each year in America, and NONE in every other modern country on the planet?
      No one in Europe or North America except the US has to have a “go fund me” for a medical issue. Nor in India, or China, or Japan, or Australia.

    • That would be great but could never be offord. Only hope is medical cost reduction

    • @ Wouldn’t it be nice…
      nope, it wouldn’t be nice, imo.

      “… Ontario’s doctors are into their fourth year without a contract and, since 2015, the provincial government has unilaterally cut more than $3.5-billion from the patient services that physicians provide. These cuts to frontline care have left more than a million patients in Ontario without a family doctor, created unprecedented emergency room gridlock, and caused wait-times to explode (a patient can wait for up to three years to see a specialist)….”
      https://nationalpost.com/opinion/health-care-system-pushed-to-breaking-point-with-recent-cuts-proposed-tax-changes

      “HALIFAX — Canada’s premiers say the new federal health accord will gut nearly $36 billion in funding to the provinces over the 10-year deal and will erode public health services to all Canadians.”
      http://www.canada.com/health/Federal+health+cuts+will+total+billion+over+decade+Premiers/7000240/story.html

      Ontario needs to make more health cuts to meet spending targets: reporthttps://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-needs-to-make-more-health-cuts-to-meet-its-targets-budget-watchdog/article33562725/

  • The richest country in the world can’t offer medical care to all its citizens…we should hang our heads in shame.

    • Actually there is hardly a person in the US who can’t get medical care- insured or not. What they might have trouble getting is hassle free care. Even if you have single payer public health insurance, it is not “free.” And what care you get is not in your control.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/you-want-to-scream-cost-of-organ-transplant-a-worry-for-some-b-c-patients-1.5092748
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/cardiac-surgery-wait-list-doubles-1.5040103
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/haggie-response-kidney-transplant-1.5044509
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/cancer-patient-misdiagnosed-then-denied-treatment-1.2537906

      Before you get angry over this case, you need a lot more information because it is unlikely the solely result of Medicaid limitations.

    • bob is not your uncle

      We spend $2,000,000,000 each day so the military can protect us from NOTHING. Imagine what that could do for universal healthcare and our infrastructure.

    • Medicare for all, Still means, that the Working class, and the RICH, who do pay, ( high premiums) eapecially when the AFFORDABLE? CARE ACT WAS SIGNED IN. OH, EXCEPT FOR CONGRESS. will pay even more for THOSE who learned to use the system, to take all the government handouts,,they can get..YOU WILL PAY!
      NO FREE MEDICAL COVERAGE FOR ALL, IF IT BECOMES SINGLE PAYER,MEDICARE FOR ALL.
      EVERY WORKING PERSON, RETIRED HOME OWNERS, AND THE WEALTHY WILL NOT ONLY COVER THEIR OWN BY HIGH PREMIUMS OF THE , HA, AFFORDABLE CARE ACT…INCOME TAXES ,,NO THOSE HARD WORKERS, RICH ETC , WILL BE THE SINGLE PAYER, PAYING MORE OF THE USERS FAIR SHARE! as well LOSING QUALITY and SUPPLY, as more and more great DOCTORS, SCIENTIST, RESEARCHERS, are leaving their , EXPENSIVE, AND HIGH QUALITY PROFFESSION… MANY LEFT WHEN THE AFFORDABLE CARE SYSTEM STARTED…
      WHAT PERCENT OF YOUR HIGHLY EARNED, INCOME ,BY YOUR EDUCATION, ARE YOU WILLING TO HAND OVER TO YOUR GOVERNMENT,,
      ( yes this is who pays the single payer for all , medical expenses), To pay for every one else’s medical???
      Seriously , ? Only way Government Pays, IS BY TAKING YOUR INCOME TAXES UP TO VERY HIGH, 70%, GIVE OR TAKE, GOES TO INCOME TAXES… NO ONE LISTENS TO THIS FACT… OH And how many more people will then quit work, when they decide, not worth working if you only take home,20, or 30%, of your hard working, earned by years of training, INCOME???
      Your expensive, education, that earn your Great income.. you. WIL lose… not those who just take.. yes there are the very needy, but with so many more Identity and phycological excuses not to work, YOU LOSE. As well as your once great medical care now rationed.. GOOD LUCK WITH IT ALL.. No more MINI , MANSIONS, while your hard WORKING income pays expenses for even more , UNDOCUMENTED,
      UNEMPLOYED, from too many excuses, Not to work.
      NO FREE RIDE FOR HOMEOWNERS , OR HARD WORKING CITIZENS.

  • We can’t afford it for our citizens, but somehow we can for everyone that manages to get across the border illegally, go figure!!!

    • As well as the Politicians gleefully lining their pockets while getting FREE Medical care, forthemselves but denying it for all others!!!!! Disgusting AF!!!!!

    • Your info on illegals getting medical coverage…. Is so wrong

    • As a professional in the eligibility world, an undocumented person only qualifies for emergency, pregnancy and LTC Medi-Cal services in this state, unless they are children.. get over it!

      • Thank you!!!
        Listen to the folks who actually work in that world before believing the BS being put out there so presudents construction companies can make more money!!!
        The BS about “illegal” people is there for one purpose: distraction. If we fight with each other we ignore the real criminals.

        And if you do believe the rhetoric then we should just blow up the statue of liberty with dynamite cuz the rhetoric is doing that energetically.
        You are illegal then too unless youre native. Feel free to go back to where your ancestors came from bye!!!

  • Just keep drinking the Kool-aid there Citizen!!! You are correct Dan. I forgot about that!!!

  • Bear with me…A few years ago you posted a story about a man trying to rescue a boy drowning in a local river. Then the man started flailing. A 2nd man went into help. The 1st man shouted “Save the kid” which the 2nd man did. The 1st man, a young father, perished. You published the bank that one could donate
    into their acct, which I gladly did. Some folks don’t do money online. Can you do that for this family?

  • Kym, Thank You for posting this. Garrett and his family are wonderful people!

  • God Bless YOU! Hope you get better… Gobs of canna oil can only help!

  • I’m so, so sorry. I hope you heal fully and cancer free. Many Blessings…

  • Joe, can you ask Garrett’s family if they have a bank acct that one could donate to in Eureka, Arcata or Fortuna? I’d be happy to help. Pls see my post at 2.45 today.
    I am so sorry Garrett has to go through this.

    • If there is an account, a family member will email Kym with details. Hopefully tomorrow. Thank You so much! Sincerely.

  • Kym, I know you’re busy, so
    thanks for responding.

  • Is ER an option?

    The photo looks serious enough for him to go to the Emergency room. I am not sure, but don’t ER’s have to treat anyone who walks thru the door? I recall a while back St Joe’s claiming they treated uninsured people to the tune of seven million dollars last year. That lesion looks like it could be infected. The guy is obviously suffering. No one should have to live with that huge a lesion on his mouth.

  • To Is ER an Option: “the cancer (from the lesion & maybe his history of Leukemia) has spread to his lymph nodes, jaw & bones”. This is way bigger than an ER visit.
    The poor guy must really be suffering. My heart goes out to him.

  • That’s absolutely heartbreaking, and it’s so sad the bureaucracy got in the way of him getting the help he needed. Gonna check out my budget tonight, or see if I can donate goods to auction. So many prayers! I hope all the people going on rants are donating more than their words.

  • I hope this small donation will help, and that there is a quick road to recovery ahead.

  • The 2 cans a day of Copenhagen for 10 years didn’t help any…

    • Georgiagrownbutitainthome

      To the poster known as “dog,” thankfully you are nothing like my canine friends. The only canine you may resemble are those canines who have contracted rabies. Dogs (and cats for that matter) truly are humans best friends because they don’t speak ugly words, kick people who are down, or type cruel comments to someone suffering a painful and potentially deadly disease.Please change your alias you comment with to something more fitting like “rabid human”, “raisedbyarock”, “iamacompletejackasswithno❤️” or “ihavenothingnicetosaybuticantstoptyping.”
      There is no reason or excuse for what you have typed. Even a child would know better than to type what you did. I pity those around you and wonder what happened to you to make you so heartless and cruel. Whatever it is or was that created your ugliness, it still is no excuse for the lack of compassion and caring you demonstrated in your comment. Have you never lost a loved one to cancer? I have lost more than I can count to cancer and other diseases and have no tolerance for your complete lack of heart and love (and I am a very tolerant person.)

  • Georgiagrownbutitainthome

    If spreading cancer is not a medical emergency, I am really not sure what is. Can the emergency room physicians have him admitted to the hospital for cancer treatment so this doesn’t kill him? I imagine this lesion greatly effects his quality of life and his ability to eat, drink,work, sleep,etc.. If this was my son or anyone else I loved, I would raise all sorts of hell at the emergency room for the doctors and other staff to make his cancer treatment happen..
    I can’t help but wonder,if this was someone wealthy and/or famous what rings of fire the medical community would jump through to get the wealthy/famous person treated before this cancer spread. It is sickening to know there is actually a caste system for healthcare here in a land “where all people are created equal.” We all may be created equal, but are definitely not treated as equals when it comes to life and death matters like healthcare (and even safe housing, food, and drinking water.)
    My heart goes out to this cancer sufferer and to his family and friends. Please keep your spirits up and be the squeaky wheel that is loud and obnoxious enough to get the grease,by grease I mean cancer treatment.
    As you are likely well aware, going to a large city like SanFrancisco or Sacramento is probably going to be the fastest way to getting proper medical care. My family members who have battled cancer had to relocate temporarily from their mountain homes for treatment. One of them was able to get their loved ones housing that was available through the hospital for little or no cost during their treatment. You are not alone in your struggle for medical treatment. Look for the silver lining in this dark cloud because there is good in everything, even in the darkest times there is light,sometimes you just have to search for it. Lots of love and cyber hugs to you and yours.

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