Our Neighbor: Treating uninsured cancer patients

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by CYNTHIA VEGA / WFAA

wfaa.com

Posted on April 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 6 at 10:16 AM

PLANO - Tuesday morning's "Our Neighbor" is a doctor whose compassion is helping to save lives in North Texas.

Dr. Naresh Gupta is a board certified hematologist oncologist. For uninsured cancer patients, he's a life saver.
 
"If you're uninsured, you're treated as if you don't really exist," said Tyann Roberts, a patient. "Dr. Gupta cares. He wants to help people. He wants to make it affordable for people in situations such as I who feel like we have no hope but just to die."
 
The GDAS Cancer Clinic, which has been recognized by the mayor of Plano, provides a highly subsidized alternative so that cancer patients can manage their treatment costs.

Gupta charges about a tenth of the normal rate for chemotherapy. Roberts said she had lost almost all hope before she found Gupta.
 
"Chemotherapy was going to cost me $7,000 a round," she said.
 
"When she came, we gave her one cycle of chemotherapy," Gupta said. "It only cost her $260, or something."
 
Gupta has recruited a team of volunteers to help him run this clinic, which is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. However, they almost always stay late.
 
"He donates his time every week," said Theresa Peacock, another patient. "We had had that snowstorm and he asked me if I was coming in and I made it and he stayed."
 
By almost eliminating the physician fees, with low administration costs and help from Gupta's non profit organization, the clinic helps anyone suffering from cancer who is uninsured.
 
"I think as human beings it is all our duty to do this," he said.
 
"He saved my life," Roberts said.
 
Gupta saw a critical need for affordable care and he did something about it, and so WFAA names him and his compassionate volunteer staff Tuesday's Our Neighbor.
 
Gupta is taking patients. If you are an uninsured cancer patient, call the doctor at 972-635-3680.

The clinic depends on donor support. If you would like to help with a contribution or if you know someone that could be featured in an Our Neighbor report, send your ideas to cizzy@wfaa.com
 

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