My name is Angela. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on August 2, 2012. I found a lump on my right breast and had a biopsy which came came back positive for cancer. My husband and I were devastated to hear the diagnosis. My doctor referred me to an oncologist and assured me that they would take very good care of me, unfortunately that wasn’t going to be the case. When I called to schedule an appointment, the receptionist asked me who my insurance carrier was and I told her that I didn’t have insurance. She said that she was sorry but that cancer care cost was very expensive and they could not see me. I tried to explain to her that I would somehow find the means to pay but she said they didn’t have payment plans and couldn’t help me. I remember the feeling of desperation. I just started crying. I called my husband at work and he told me to call my doctor back and maybe they would know of someone that could help us. The Lord opened the door to the most amazing organization of WINGS! Mrs. Terri Jones, Alice and Deirdre are my angels. Through WINGS I was able to have a mastectomy, radiation treatment, labs, mammograms and follow-up visits that have saved my Life! When we met with Terri to Thank her (we can never Thank her enough) she said for me to focus on getting healthy and not to worry about anything else. Four years later and thank God I am doing very well. My husband and I love to volunteer our time and help WINGS however we can whether it’s for fundraisers or help raise breast cancer awareness we enjoy every minute of it. Thank you WINGS!!!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the Government already have a safety net in place for the uninsured?
This is a common misconception. There is low cost treatment available in some areas, however for a woman at or below the poverty level even that cost can be prohibitive.
2. Are Texans the only ones eligible for this program?
No. Just as breast cancer knows no geographic boundary, neither does the WINGS program. Currently, however, we only have contracts with physicians and treatment facilities in 46 Texas counties.
3. Does WINGS offer free mammograms?
No. There are numerous resources for women without insurance to obtain low cost or no cost mammograms. Unfortunately, there are very few places an uninsured woman can turn for treatment when faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer. WINGS was formed to fill the vacuum that exists between detection and treatment for uninsured women.
4. How does the program work?
An uninsured woman who has received a diagnosis of breast cancer can be referred to WINGS by her doctor or radiologist. We will have her fill out financial screening forms to determine her eligibility. If she qualifies, she will be issued a card similar to an insurance card identifying her as a WINGS patient to participating physicians. Once that is done she will be treated like any other patient with insurance. After the effective date of her enrollment, physicians’ bills are paid by us. Annual renewal applications are required to continue coverage.
5. What services does WINGS pay for?
Services include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and lab charges. WINGS only pays for services offered through our provider network.
6. What types of coverage does WINGS offer?
WINGS offers several levels of coverage, including Full Coverage, Partial Coverage, Catastrophic Coverage, Lifetime Follow Up Care, and payment of COBRA Premiums.
7. Does WINGS treat men who are diagnosed with breast cancer?
Yes, WINGS is not for women only.
8. Are there other programs similar to WINGS throughout the United States?
Although there may be other facilities that treat uninsured women who are at or below the poverty level on a pro bono basis, WINGS is the only organization we know of that offers the complete continuum of care and which requires no payment from the patient.
9. Is breast cancer the only cancer WINGS treats?
Yes. Although we are aware that uninsured women have other health related issues, financial restraints limit our focus to breast cancer, which has grown to epidemic proportions.
10. How is WINGS funded?
WINGS is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable foundation, which survives on institutional grants — corporate, private, religious — as well as individual donations. We do not receive any type of assistance from the United Way or from any federal or state program.
11. How can I help?
Please visit our How Can I Help page on this website; it’s people like you who can truly make a difference in someone else’s life.
7500 Highway 90 West, Building 2, Suite 240 San Antonio, Texas 78227
Tax ID # 74-2920912
© 2016 WINGS
Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving, Sharing