Spike’s story began in the summer of 2011 when she discovered a lump in her right breast during a routine self examination. Since she was temporarily uninsured, she talked herself into believing that the lump was a symptom of menopause. When her gynecologist felt the lump during her annual exam, she said, “That’s got to come out right away”.
That’s the day the crazy train left the station.
After a few days Spike learned that she did indeed have cancer growing inside of her, and although she was uninsured at the time, she learned that she would be one of the lucky ones whose life would be saved by parts of the Affordable Care Act that had already gone into effect. The surrounding circumstances of this new found good fortune would thrust her into the middle of the national debate on health care reform.
After writing an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, outing herself as the new face of the uninsured (a middle class, middle aged PTA mom) and apologizing to President Obama for publicly criticizing what she didn’t understand, she received national and international attention, both pro and con, creating a lively public debate on the new law, PCIP (Pre-existing Insurance Program), and the health insurance industry. Spike was asked to be interviewed by several different TV and radio stations, some in other countries, while undergoing her treatment for cancer. Her story is how one person, even at the lowest point of their life, can make a difference if they’re just willing to put themselves out there in order to effect change.
Cancer treatment is finally over, but Spike’s story is not. She is available to speak on any or all of the following subjects:
- Health care reform in America. Out of gratitude, Spike vowed to research all that she could about the Affordable Care Act and the history of health care reform in America. She wanted to understand everything she could about what was saving her life, resulting in her becoming a lay expert on the subject (read her blog, “Health Hazards“). Now she’s “paying it forward,” helping others understand this very complicated piece of legislation.
- Being famous for being uninsured and what it’s like to be the target of anonymous hatred
- What it’s like to go through treatment for late stage breast cancer for an entire year
- How ordinary citizens can effect great change by telling their story. Spike shares how her background in the nonprofit sector helped her deal with the many invitations to do public speaking, media interviews, documentaries, and answer to criticism.
- How the arts save lives.
- Getting through the ultimate spiritual crisis: Confronting the possibility and inevitability of one’s own death
Groups that would be interested in hearing Spike’s story:
- Health care reform activist groups
- Health care industry conferences
- Churches and temples
- Democratic clubs
- Community centers
- Nonprofit arts organizations focusing on the healing impact of the arts
Spike tells her story with humor, passion, authority and depth. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. But most of all, you’ll think.
- The complete story in Spike’s blog, “Health Hazards”.