March 6, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 6, 2013

Medical travel

TO THE EDITOR: On Nov. 16, 2011, my wife heard three of the most feared words in the English language: “You Have Cancer.”

With these three words, we started our journey down a road of hope, optimism failure and setbacks . But this letter isn’t about that.

When radiation and chemo failed, the only option was surgery. Fortunately, one of the best otolaryngology teams in the country is at Fletcher Allen.

On our initial trip, I asked at the ferry booth if any programs were available for those who must travel due to medical necessity. The attendant said all he could offer was commuter discount coupons. They save 30 percent.

At Fletcher Allen, I asked if they knew of any program. One is available called Here to There, but there are income restrictions, and I was looking for a hand not a handout.

I wrote Lake Champlain Transportation, suggesting, perhaps, a half-fare program. I received a phone call from a nice lady, but she said no such program was available and sent me three half-fare coupons. I believe she was treating my concern as an individual issue.

Lake Champlain Transportation received state money for service during the Crown Point bridge construction and is receiving federal dollars for construction at Cumberland Head dock.

Thinking a letter from a politician might carry more weight than a single citizen, I wrote a joint letter to Rep. Bill Owens and Sen. Betty Little. Rep. Owens’s office did contact me, but Sen. Little’s office did not. A follow up e-mail also received no reply.

Congressmen Owens’s office contacted me later; their inquiry also was negative.

Perhaps Lake Champlain Transportaion, Fletcher Allen and CVPH could come up with some joint shared program for those of us who find ourselves in this situation.

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