Walter, an Albemarle County native, has worked since he was 14 years old. He had a heart attack when he was 44, and last year, after suffering a mini-stroke at work, he learned that he has a heart condition that can only be managed through medications. The prescriptions that keep him alive cost nearly $1,400 each month. Walter receives care at the Charlottesville Free Clinic, where he was referred to our United Way’s RxRelief Prescription Assistance program.
Helen Frye, our United Way Medication Assistance Caseworker, spends part of every workday at the Free Clinic to help patients access medications for long-term, chronic illnesses like Walter’s heart disease. She arranged for Walter to receive his medications for only a $3 co-pay. “I don’t know what I’d do without this program. I feel like I’m letting myself down because I can’t work. By the time I pay my rent and buy groceries, I’m not sure what I could cut out to pay for my prescriptions. I’m grateful - this program is keeping me alive.”
Walter is one of those people you automatically like the first time you meet them. When I interviewed him for this story, he told me that we had helped him once before, in the early 1970’s, when we ran a grant-funded job placement program. I learned that we gave him a placement referral for a job that he kept for more than 20 years! It was nice to learn that we had changed Walter’s life not once, but twice.
Your gift to our United Way helps keep Walter alive, and helps so many others.
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Posted by: Kim Connolly
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