- Posted October 2, 2013 by
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Brown’s case is so severe that she had almost two feet of her small intestine removed last year. After the surgery, she started treatment with Remicade, a form of chemotherapy for patients with Crohn’s. The treatment was helping, but an exciting opportunity would change the course of her treatment.
Read Brown's powerful letter to lawmakers
When Brown landed a job at a Oklahoma City art gallery as an executive director not long after the surgery, she was thrilled. But with the job came a blow: She lost her health insurance. She was the only full-time employee at the organization, and says she was denied coverage because of her pre-existing condition.
She lost her insurance a year ago, and tried to forgo the Remicade treatment when she could. Sometimes she felt so ill that she sought treatment at a non-insurance clinic – she will have to face the bills later. It has been two months since her last treatment.
Crohn’s is not usually a direct cause of death, but there are a lot of complications with the disease that can occur if it’s not treated consistently, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Now 26, Brown fears she may not survive until her next birthday.
“I’ve had Crohn’s for long enough to be able to read my body pretty well,” she said. “I think once you’ve spent several months throwing up every day and having blood in the toilet every time you go to the bathroom, that you know something’s not right. I know how I felt when I had to have the surgery fairly suddenly to take out part of my intestine. I was shown that picture of that part of my intestine and I’ve done the research, and I know that dying is an option once things get that severe.”
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- zdan, CNN iReport producer