My apologies in advance to any of you who feel this plea for help is not appropriate on use.perl, but this is for a friend of mine.
I have a friend, Bella (not her real name), with Crohn's disease. For some people, the disease is mild. For her, it's been quite severe. I've known Bella for quite some time and it's heartbreaking to see her trying to get out and socialize. She's in constant pain and often can't move because of it. Of course, that's what 15 surgeries will do to you. Her abdomen is pretty much a mass of scar tissue.
Naturally, she's on some pretty heavy pain medication, can't work, and is in and out of hospitals. However, she doesn't have medical insurance. You know how it is in the US. If you don't have medical insurance, they really don't care. One of her "favorite" hospital incidents involved not being able to take the pain and the hospital reassuring her that it was only a small cyst on her ovary.
Bella doesn't have ovaries any more. Those were removed a long time ago.
This happens to her all the time. Doctors casually misdiagnose her. Why should they bother to really find out what's wrong? She can't pay for the medical tests. Now when she gets another surgery, doctors are having trouble working around all of the scar tissue. The state of Oregon, however, has ruled that she is not disabled. She can't work. Her boyfriend can barely afford the bills and they're living on food stamps. It goes without saying that Bella can't pay her medical bills.
There's a MySpace group set up to collect donations for her. If you are willing to help, please do so. Otherwise, even offering her words of support would be nice. You can also read her side of the story, if you like.