Community organizing support after woman is denied formula for feeding tube

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:23 PM CST
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CHEROKEE VILLAGE, Ark. (KAIT) - A woman in Northeast Arkansas is scrambling to feed herself after her insurance company decided against covering the adult formula she receives through a feeding tube.

Kim Strano was diagnosed with cancer in June 2022. That’s when things went downhill.

“I was walking five miles a day, I was healthy, and then all of a sudden started having problems eating, then went to choking, and then went to literally not being able to breathe,” she said.

The following August, she lost the ability to breathe on her own.

Then in September, the choice was made for her to have a tracheostomy.

She recently found out her insurance company wouldn’t cover one of the things keeping her alive.

“I have a feeding tube, and that is the only way that I can get nourishment, and they refused companywide to cover that, and if we moved to a different insurance company, we wouldn’t be able to afford the premiums,” Strano said.

A group has formed together to try and help Kim purchase the needed supplies. A polar plunge is also being organized in February, with all funds raised supporting Kim.

One of the organizers, Doug Driesel, said there is another way to help.

“We have an account set up at First Community Bank. It’s friends of Kim Strano. You can just go to any location and put money in that account, and that money will go directly to her,” he said.

Strano said the support from the community means so much.

“I am humbled. I didn’t think I mattered to people, and I’m like, ‘people won’t even notice I’m gone’ then I find out that Kurt and Doug are doing this for me,” she said.