A young widow who lost her husband to cancer nearly drowned in grief and medical debt. Now Fumiko Chino is a cancer doctor who sees her own tragedy play out in other patients. Too often people are underinsured and financially burdened by the cost of cancer care. Faced with a choice between their money and their lives, some patients lose both. Healthcare leaders must work to find ways to reduce costs and maintain policies that protect people from shoddy insurance. We must stop illness from triggering financial ruin.
Chino and Nathan Gray were colleagues at Duke University Medical Center when they began collaborating on this graphic op-ed. When Chino saw the first finished version, she emailed Gray: “Your work is stunning, and once I stopped crying, I’m really impressed how this story condenses into such a tightly packaged comic.”
Fumiko Chino is an assistant professor in oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center whose research explores the financial impact of cancer care. Nathan Gray is an assistant professor of medicine and palliative care at Duke University School of Medicine and an artist who draws comics on medical topics.