There was no way I would be able to afford this.

My name is John Lindemulder and I am a 67-year-old retiree resident of Diamond Bar, California. Los Angeles County is my home; I was born and raised here and I worked to benefit the state for many years.

I was enjoying retirement with my wife up until October 2017, when I received a diagnosis that changed my life. My doctor told me that I had leukemia. 

I had been quite healthy up until I received this diagnosis, and it was a great shock to both my family and my finances. But my altered state of health was not the only difficulty I began to face at this time. I also began to be greatly affected by the cost of my chemotherapy and other medications.

I have Humana insurance, but when I first went to pick up my medication, I was shocked at both the cost of the drug and my copay. My insurance was paying out about $1,000 for a month’s supply, and I was paying a $100 copay for each medication. I was stunned. There was no way I would be able to afford this — it was out of the question.

I was forced to look for alternatives, and I found City of Hope, which referred me to a pharmacy that allows me to make payments. I currently owe $1,500 in copays to the pharmacy. I make payments for my medications of $100 a month currently. My life and my budget has been greatly affected; it is really making things tough. I’ve been rationing my medicine and taking less than I should.

I am in disbelief that this is my situation. I want to enjoy my retirement and do things I love, like reading classic literature and spending time with my wife. Instead, I am consumed with worry about our financial health.

Patients like me deserve better. Californians deserve better. I urge my legislators to fight for lower drug prices.