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PAN Stories

What do an artist, video producer and caterer have in common? All three – Bobbie, Michelle and Betty—have been able to go back to doing what they love thanks to PAN help in getting medications that have improved their health and given them hope. Read their inspiring stories and others here.

Debra G. - Multiple Sclerosis

Sometimes a disease like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) attacks seemingly out of nowhere, turning someone's life inside out in a blink of the proverbial eye. That's how MS bullied its way into Debra Girard's life. In 1978, Debra was working at her job as a bank operations manager, completing tasks and knowing she would be going home that night to her husband and two-year-old son, when MS suddenly struck. Read More

Michael M. - Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer, Travel Program

Upon his diagnosis, he was first treated with external radiation and a medication for advanced prostate cancer. Traveling back and forth from eastern Utah to Salt Lake City to see the closest specialist for treatment became a regular part of Michael's life.  The three-and-a-half hour drive took its toll, both physically and financially. The cost of treatments and travel quickly exhausted his modest savings. Read More

Chris R. - Multiple Sclerosis

Even with her admirable determination to prevent multiple sclerosis from changing her optimistic outlook and sunny disposition, Chris Rodvold found that the disease presents a daunting catch-22 situation. Stress, as she points out, exacerbates the disease, but the expensive treatments required to combat the symptoms of MS are indeed stress-inducing. Read More

Mark W. - Kidney Transplant Immunosuppressants
Since 1988, Mark Weissenbach has made his home in Midland, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. For a while, Mark sold insurance – property, casualty, life, and health. And it was that experience that gave him his first glimpse of the tough choices that underinsured people have to make. "I met many people who had to decide whether to pay their rent or buy food or pay their insurance premium, and that's a terrible predicament to be in," says Mark. Read More

Jack-  Psoriatic Arthritis

It all started with pain in his feet after his morning run. He got new shoes and kept on running. Next, it was his knees. The pain there was so bad he forgot about his feet. Finally, Jack agreed to see a doctor. Arthritis was the diagnosis. The doctors settled on a particular kind of arthritis: psoriatic. Jack tried every medication his doctors recommended. Read More 

Kelly - Rheumatoid Arthritis

"I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010 after six years of not knowing what was wrong. My first symptoms occurred in 2004 at the age of 38 after the stress of divorce. I lost my job in 2009 from layoffs because I was always out sick or at doctor's appointments.  In that time, I became disabled because I was unable to use my hands, shoulders or sit for any length of time." Read More

Marlene - Multiple Myeloma
In the spring of 2004, Marlene and Bill Laidlaw were enjoying retirement and preparing for their third volunteer camping trip to Yosemite National Park. Then Marlene’s doctor uttered the words “multiple myeloma” and plans changed. Read More

Michelle - Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ever since she was a child, Michelle De Long has made a conscious effort to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. “I’ve always tried to make sure that I’m doing something healthy, going to the gym, walking, running, backpacking across Europe,” says Michelle.  But despite her deep desire to stay fit, Michelle, 42, has always been faced with puzzling health issues from the time she young.  Read More 

Betty - Rheumatoid Arthritis
They say if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Betty Nichols figured that out for herself a long time ago. For the Chicago native doing what she loved meant being in the kitchen.  “I love to cook. Cooking is my everything,” says the 53-year-old. “I can cook and find peace. My kitchen, I just love being in my kitchen. I love it. I think if I had a bed I could just pull it out and sleep in my kitchen.”  Read More

Bobbie- Growth Hormone Deficiency
Barbara Heisman-Sokolowski, or “Bobbie” as everyone calls her, is full of energy with a full schedule of painting, teaching, and taking care of Caesar, her poodle Maltese mix.  But this vitality and zest for life wasn’t always the case for the 66-year-old. There was a time when it took all of her energy just to get dressed in the morning, and by the time she made it to the front door, she felt like she needed to sit down and rest.  Read More

Mark Gregory - Hepatitis C
When Mark Gregory was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, during the summer of 2010, it was just the latest in a long list of tragic events he and his family had recently endured. “It was a very sad time,” explained Janet, Mark’s wife. “And it really hit hard. It was just an absolutely sad time in our life.” Mark’s diagnosis came on the heels of his suffering from number of other health issues– including a heart attack and skin cancer – as well as the death of his father. Read More

Gerald M. - Multiple Myeloma
“The world was ours,” Gerald explained, “Austria and New Zealand? I’ve been to both. We could decide to fly to Las Vegas first class on the weekend and just go.” When they retired at 62, the McCulloughs settled in and enjoyed their home slightly off the beaten path, just the way they liked it. They lived six years of what Gerald describes as “the best kind of life you can live.” But all of that came to a halt when Gerald was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Read More

Emma - Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Coming of age in the tiny town of Louisville, Miss., where the only jobs available were picking cotton in the fields, Emma knew she wanted more from life. A recent high school graduate whose father walked out on her family, Emma had big dreams, and the ambition, drive and determination to achieve them. Read More

Glen - Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (SHPT)
Glen Tucker knows firsthand that life has ups and downs. He also knows that to be happy and enjoy the life you’re given, you have to not only take the good with the bad, but find light in the darker situations. Read More


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