My name is Stacy Ransom. I’m from Southern California and I live with Crohn’s Disease.
Six months before doctors gave my condition a name, I began to experience excruciating, debilitating pain every time I took a bite of food. Because eating sent shock waves through my system, I rapidly lost weight. I worked at a local animal shelter, and on days when I didn’t call in sick, I spent most of the day curled up at my desk in between running to the bathroom. At my worst, I blacked out from the pain in the employee restroom and woke up to a volunteer asking if I was okay. By then, I had lost nearly 20lbs, bringing my 5’9 stature to weigh only 100 pounds.
On July 20, 2015, I had my first colonoscopy. In the recovery room, my doctor came to my bedside to explain that my intestines were riddled with ulcers, blood, and inflammation, indicating a severe case of Crohn’s Disease. Due to the severity of my disease, he prescribed a combination therapy of Humira and Mercaptopurine, which put me in clinical remission by December 2015.
Before I started taking Humira, I battled severe depression as a result of my failing health. I had my dream job at an animal shelter, but I debated resigning and moving back in with my parents simply because I was unable to care for myself. I was in so much pain and felt so weak that basic tasks like showering or feeding my rescue dog left me curled up on my bed, wishing I could escape it all. I was taking the maximum dosages of medications around the clock with no relief.
Humira gave me my life back. I regained my strength and continued working, where I met my husband. We now have a beautiful 5 month-old son, and love to travel as a family and take our two rescue dogs, Gracie and Finn, to the beach. Because of Humira, I am nearly symptom-free and thriving, despite my Crohn’s.
But, that happiness comes at a steep price.
Staying home with our son makes the most sense for my health and my family. But with the change, our co-pays for Humira jumped from $30 to $250. We are doing everything we can to make ends meet, but $250 is a big hit for a young family, and it chips away at our ability to provide a stable future for our son.
Humira, by Abbvie, is a $16 billion blockbuster drug. Abbvie made moves recently to ensure no generic versions will enter the market for at least five more years. The impact of these maneuvers translates to $15,000 for us, money we could use for retirement, or my son’s college fund.
I have no choice but to pay.
I can’t stop taking Humira. I don’t want to go back to days of curling up on my couch with incurable pain. But it’s scary to think I might have to if drug prices continue to rise.
This is why I decided to tell my story.
Between the doctor visits, prescription drugs, lab tests, MRI’s, colonoscopies, surgeries, and hospitalization, hardly any of us can afford to be sick, but we don’t have a choice.
We do have a choice when it comes to sharing our stories and fighting for change.
Patients must stand up to the drug corporations making our already challenging lives needlessly difficult. We cannot give up hope and we must stand strong, together.
Only then will we fix a broken system.
You can sign the petition to AbbVie here.