Patient Leader Spotlight: Mark Judge
Cancer recovery is brutal. Five years ago, I had no idea how difficult this journey would be when doctors first told me I had colon cancer. Now, I’m celebrating three years with no evidence of disease (NED), but after all I went through, I know I wouldn’t be here without the medical imaging that guided my treatment.
When my cancer journey started, I was just going in for what I hoped would be routine rotator cuff surgery. My low iron levels were a cause for concern for my doctor, who ordered a colonoscopy. I had no family history of colorectal cancer, the test revealed I had a mass in my colon, and testing confirmed that it was cancer.
To say that the next six years were difficult is an understatement. I had dozens of scans, surgeries and radiation treatments. At every development, this journey was made more difficult by the constant anxiety over “not knowing.” Would the disease progress? Which treatments were working? I was living scan to scan for answers.
I wasn’t alone on this journey, though. An online support group of colon cancer patients told me that they had or were experiencing similar feelings. This community inspired me to give back, and I have been working to advocate for better policy for cancer patients- including repeal of the medical device tax.
In 2015, I met with Senator Toomey while I was in the middle of all those rounds of chemo. I urged him to fight for repeal of the medical device tax which has been delaying access to medical technology and indirectly raising the price of care for patients. Since then, it’s been encouraging to see him now fighting on behalf of patients like me by leading repeal efforts in the Senate, including sponsoring the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2019 which would fully repeal the medical device tax.
For those of us who’ve endured the anxiety of living scan to scan, we know that medical innovation is what makes the difference when it comes to life-saving treatment. Ask your Members of Congress to repeal the medical device tax so that these important innovations can continue to save lives here and around the world.