Steve Perry and why we need the Hero Initiative

Found at Bleeding Cool and this is something that I really thing people should see so they can support the Hero Initiative:

Every month or so there is an appeal for an American comic book creator who cannot afford their healthcare costs. Even with the charity HERO Initiative, there are still appeals, still fundraisers, still adult fans of the creators work from their childhood willing to dig deep. And I always wonder about Americans who don’t have a fanbase, or maybe just not very nice people, and wonder what they do.

Steve Bissette has been writing about Thundercats cartoon writer Steve Perry and passes on a true horror story.

About six months after this I began to feel sick again. Weak. It hurt to use the bathroom. Online research revealed the absolutely necessity of follow-up care after what had been done to me. Every doctor I then contacted asked with the same three questions: “Who is your doctor?” “I don’t have one”. “Do you have insurance?” “No.” “We are not accepting new patients at this time.”

I had been a writer, and owned some intellectual properties; these I sold to my respective cocreators and Leo and I had a place to live. Food Stamps followed, and then the Hero Initiative stepped into our lives, aiding us to no end as I opened and to this day fight the application for social security disability.

Almost no specialists will accept Medicaid, and I needed specialists. I actually called 67 urologists before finding the one I have. He consented to accept the Medicaid, BUT EVEN HE CALLED IT A SHAMBLES AND A SHAME. Because he was a specialist, all procedures and visits to him required ‘pre-authorizations’ through the Medicaid HMO. The main test that needed doing, after Cat scans, two MRIs, blood work and ultra and sonograms, was a simple thing called a cysctoscopy [sp?]. This took five weeks for the HMO to pre-authorize, five WEEKS!!!!

I went into surgery at 9 am. I woke up in recovery at 3 pm. SIX HOURS OF SURGERY!!! SIX BLOODY HOURS!

Imagine my surprise when the nurse came to the room I was in and told me, you’re going home now. I did not even have a catheter, I could barely move.

She asked me who was there to give me a ride home. No one. Call someone, she said, and handed me the phone.

The pharmacist came out and told me, “why’d they give you this? These are not Medicaid approved.”


“Medicaid has a list of medications they will not pay for. Only your Cumidin is an approved Medicaid medication. You have to say cash for the rest.”

I had $24. $69 on a debit card. My “ride” wanted $20 for gas.

Hundreds … hundreds … hundreds more people of the world of comic books, of the world of publishing, of the Hero Initiative, of the world of comic book conventions, of the readers of the blogs wherever my name has ever appeared, all of them and a million million more – everyone who has ever given a single dollar to the Hero Initiative… You are all gods to me. You have all saved a life not really worth saving. But it is mine, and I will not waste it, will never give up, will pay I forward in every method and in all ways humanly possible.

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