I was only 34 years old when a brain tumor was discovered. After I had surgery to remove it, doctors told me that I need to have a MRI every six months to monitor my health and to make sure the tumor doesn’t grow back.

I have health insurance through my work, but I can’t have an MRI covered unless I meet my deductible each year. I should not have to say “no” to my follow-up care because I can’t afford the out-of-pocket cost of $1,500 for a MRI every time.

Who prepares to have a brain tumor at 34? Who prepares to have one at all? The health care situation in this country is not sufficient. There need to be safety nets for people who are struggling to keep their heads above water.

I am thankful that my friends created a GoFundMe page to help cover my living expenses while I was out of work. But I should not have to rely on the kindness of my friends or strangers to receive the care I need. I should not have to go into debt to stay healthy.

Health care companies have the responsibility to care for the people in this country. It is important that we expand health care in this country and not roll it back. More people need access, and more people need to be covered.

Kathy Smith