Like many women, when I turned 30 I felt like I was in my prime
I was engaged to my best friend, planning my dream wedding, traveling all over, and absolutely smashing it at work.
Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
It was and still remains ironic that my diagnosis came at the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as I’m no stranger to the disease—nearly half my career was spent working with a pharma company marketing a treatment.
My grandma also passed away from breast cancer after a near 40 year battle, and while my family is blessed to not carry “a gene,” we did carry the weight that it could be coming for any one of us, too.
Access to doctors changed the course of my journey
After I was diagnosed, and for the entire year of treatment that followed, I wanted for nothing. But more and more I’ve come to understand my experience is the exception to most others.
I lived in New York City where top hospitals were a few blocks away. My family had connections that got me same-day appointments with oncologists who were booked out for months. I had a job with great benefits and a boss able to extend my sick leave so I never had to stress.
My medical team was attentive and supportive. They answered my messages, compromised on requests, and did everything they could to help maintain my dignity.
My family and friends also had the flexibility to take off work, so I never had to go to chemo alone. They ran my errands, cleaned my apartment, and made sure my fiancé and I were well fed and still able to smile.
Unfortunately, I now know that my experience was not typical. Most do not have the support, flexibility, and resources that I had access to. And that has to change.
Everyone should be able to access the care they need and deserve
I had (and continue to have) the best care. But I quickly realized how in a weird way, my cancer journey was a fantasy. Countless people lacked the basic access to the healthcare resources that I took for granted.
In my core, I knew I could help fix this. I could parlay my cancer experience, plus my skills as a copywriter and content marketer and earlier work in healthcare, into a job where I could make a difference.
And so, despite believing in the company I was working for, and my gratitude for all they did for me following my diagnosis, I decided to start exploring new opportunities back in healthcare.
It was kismet that I found K Health.
Together with my team at K Health, I’m helping everyone learn about a better way to access better care. I’m part of creating a product that is outsmarting our healthcare system and turning what we know about “good care” upside down.
24/7 access to top doctors for all
Early detection and disease prevention is a main stake for helping to improve outcomes for cancer patients. Even though oncology will never be a fully remote speciality, Primary Care and access to doctors plays a huge role in making sure that people can get concerning symptoms checked out early.
K Health gives everyone—insurance or not—access to 24/7 doctors for anything from a UTI to a midnight fever to a weird lump or pain. K Health’s data-driven technology can help people gauge symptoms for free and guide them on their next move.
- For those who previously couldn’t afford the copay to get a weird lump checked out: K Health clinicians can let you know if it’s something to worry about, and refer you for imaging or to a specialist.
- For those who couldn’t secure childcare during their annual Primary Care appointment: K Health makes it so you can have a comprehensive health visit right from their phone, with ongoing follow up to make sure you stay healthy for the long-haul.
- For those without the vacation days to drive to a quality doctor’s office: K Health puts hundreds of board-certified doctors right in your pocket.
And just like how I texted my breast surgeon in the days leading up to my surgery, clinicians will text you right back.
If breast cancer is suspected, organizations like breastcancer.org and nationalbreastcancer.org can help you find an oncologist. K-affiliated clinicians can also refer you to imaging centers or other experts to help.
Working at K Health gives me purpose
While what happened to me was unfair, if I’ve learned anything in the last two years since my diagnosis it’s that all experiences have meaning.
Everyday, at my core, I feel like my work at K Health has meaning.
I’m part of the mission to help everyone, everywhere access quality, affordable care that doesn’t discriminate. And that makes me feel good.
People still ask me what’s the most important thing I’ve learned. I always say it’s to be more aware of my body. I encourage everyone to give yourself a breast exam each month, and encourage your loved ones to do the same.