Shirley Loewe had one of the most aggressive form of breast cancer (inflammatory breast cancer). Her tumor was already 4 inches wide when she was diagnosed in 2003.
Adding insult to cancer, Shirley was repeatedly denied care because she was either “not poor enough” to qualify on Medicaid in Texas because she made $15,000 a year, or “not sick enough” to receive treatment otherwise.
Texas had an obscure law that allowed women diagnosed in federally-funded cancer detection clinics to cover women with cancer by Medicaid even if they did not otherwise meet eligibility – only Shirley did not go to a federally-funded cancer detection clinic because she had no clue about this obscure law.
Since then, Texas amended the law to lift this restriction, but it was too late for Shirley – she died in June 2007.