“Look for the helpers.”
- Fred Rogers
My upcoming book When Women Get Sick shows women and their supporters how to maximize coverage, benefits and security and minimize stress, fear and confusion as they navigate illness. It will make people angry, because it exposes just how deficient our healthcare system is and how it hurts women. But it will empower women with cancer and other serious illnesses to get the right help and avoid being left holding the bag as they fight for their wellness.
When Women Get Sick uses the power of storytelling, and the experience of a twenty five years in-the-trenches advocate to educate women about what to worry about when they get sick. It’s often a “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” situation; a messy mix of the healthcare provider system, third party payers, employers, and slow-as-molasses government entities. The book guides readers through the navigation process with stories, questions, checklists, and useful information. The big idea here is to give women agency, empowering them with practical tools they can use as they deal with illness. No question another goal is to inspire others to support women on these healthcare and workplace journeys; to advocate for them the way I have.
I'm Rebecca Bloom.
This is personal: my mother and sister are breast cancer survivors, I’m high-risk and have been through biopsies, surgeries, examinations, scans, genetic testing and counseling. I have two grown daughters. This is professional: I have trained my whole life for this.
I have been a patient and workplace advocate for 25 years. I am a Yale and NYU School of Law-educated former workplace and benefits attorney who has worked with thousands of women over 25 years at Bay Area Cancer Connections in the Silicon Valley. I co-wrote and edited Breast Cancer in The Workplace published for California employers by the Northern California Cancer Center and served as consulting editor on an expanded version, Cancer in the Workplace, published by the Cancer Prevention Institute.
YOUR BIG PICTURE
I know this is complicated. When women get sick, there's a lot to think about.
It's more than just medical; it's always emotional and often professional.
Ability to Work
Spouse or Partner Support
There are many wonderful disease-specific organizations throughout the country that provide support and information to their clients. There are also 3,600 women's health centers in the United States serving over 15 million women.
Below are some national organizations doing important work.
Information, case management services and financial aid for Americans with chronic, life threatening and debilitating illnesses.
Resource to find advocates for laws protecting the civil and human rights of all people with disabilities.
Helping get women the health care services they need and build the movement for health justice.
Rebecca Bloom discusses her upcoming book with producer, blogger, speaker and radio personality Ash Brown.
Rebecca Bloom discusses the impact of divorce on health and what you need to know to protect yourself.
GET IN TOUCH
I wish I could advocate for every woman in the country who faces serious illness. If you or someone you care about is fighting cancer or another serious illness and you have a question about what to do about health insurance, coverage of treatment, medical expenses, access to care, leaves of absence, your benefits or something else non-medical health space or workplace related, send me a message and I will do my level best to get back to you.
For free. That's how important this is to me and how much I care. I'm an experienced person in the world giving what I can to help mothers, sisters, daughters and friends.