High gas prices worsen struggle to access care

Rising gas prices are making it difficult for a Michigan family to access cancer treatment. They drive from Fenton to Ann Arbor, 80 miles roundtrip, Monday through Friday, MLive reported June 21.

Physicians discovered a large mass in 16-year-old Keegan Sergent's lower abdomen in February. She was later diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood cancer that forms in soft tissue, according to the report. She had weekly chemotherapy treatments, then surgery, and now has a six-week stint of daily radiation. 

Gas prices have reached $5 a gallon in Michigan, according to the report. The Sergents use up a quarter tank for the 80-mile trip. Elizabeth Sergent — a single mom of three kids, including Keegan — told MLive she is paying more than $80 every few days for gas. She earns the "very minimum" to cover rent, food and gas, she said.

"It got to a point where I would put whatever I had in the gas tank just to make sure we made it down there and back," Elizabeth told the publication. 

A recent survey of 6,663 adults conducted by West Health and Gallup found 8 percent of adults cut back on paying for utilities to pay for healthcare.

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