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BEST OF BASH

Virginia Commonwealth University

Tackling the financial toll of cancer, one patient at a time

Even before Scott Steiner started treatment for a rare gastrointestinal cancer that had spread throughout his abdomen, a dangerous side effect threatened his health.

His doctor had prescribed the cancer drug Gleevec, but Steiner's insurance refused to cover its $3,500 monthly cost. Steiner, a warehouse manager for a publisher of Bible-themed literature, and his wife, Brenda, a part-time nurse, made just $30,000 a year. No way could they afford the drug on their own.

"We still had six kids at home — how were we going to come up with that kind of money?" Steiner said. "We couldn't re-mortgage the house because it had already been re-mortgaged. I...

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