Local man battling breast cancer without insurance makes national news

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A 26-year-old man fighting breast cancer without health insurance gets national attention and possibly some much needed help.

ABC News 4 first broke the story about Raymond Johnson last week. The 26-year-old Cross man lays tile for a living and says he can not afford health insurance.

So he applied to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for a federally funded program that provides medicaid for breast cancer patients. But he was denied coverage because he's a man.

That's because the program is based on a federal law passed October 24, 2000. It gives states the option to provide medical assistance through Medicaid to eligible women. The wording does not include men.

Newspapers, television stations and web sites across the nation have picked up the story, including ABC, CBS, CNN and FOX.

We spoke with Raymond Johnson Monday and he says he is simply stunned. "I'm really surprised, and feel really blessed and hopeful." He says his phone hasn't stopped ringing since the story ran on ABC News 4 last week.

He hopes not only that he will find some kind of financial assistance, but perhaps the law will be changed so the roughly 2,100 men who get breast cancer every year, like himself, won't have to battle bills as well as the disease.

If you would like to help give support to Raymond Johnson, you can call Susan Appelbaum at the Charleston Cancer Center at 843-576-1353.