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Gainesville boy with cancer still uninsured after abrupt cancellation


SHERMAN, TEXAS -- The day before Thanksgiving, while many kids are enjoying time with family, Hunter Alford was at Children's Dallas, overcoming the flu and playing games on his iPad.

"How are you holding up?" KXII reporter Allison Harris asked.

"It's been very tough since he's been running fevers off and on," Hunter's mom, Krista, said.

When we spoke with Krista last Thursday, she was distraught, saying Children's Medicaid -- or CHIP -- could not reinsure Hunter, or her daughter Mikayla, both battling cancer.

Financially, the family couldn't continue Hunter's $50,000 chemotherapy.

"Talk to me about the response you guys have received since the story aired Thursday."

"Oh it's been amazing. I'm getting so many messages on Facebook," Krista said.

Messages like, "this precious child is in our thoughts and prayers," along with more than $10,000 in donations.

But better yet, they heard from Children's Medicaid.

"You guys got three calls from them the day after the story aired. Any idea how soon they might get their insurance back?"

"They told me it would take ten days, but it could be sooner," Krista said.

Krista says a Children's Medicaid agent told her that Hunter's information got lost when they made changes under the new Affordable Care Act.

We called the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that administers CHIP in the state. Communication Director Stephanie Goodman is aware of Hunter's case.

While not able to release specific case information, Goodman says cancellations can be caused by a change in family income.

Goodman also mentioned that the department recently had some glitches when transferring cases that were dually enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid, into a Medicaid only program. Goodman says the department made those transfers to prepare for changes under the Affordable Care Act.

"When will you have the final decision on whether he will be able to continue his chemotherapy?"

"It depends on this next week. When we find out if the spots are cancer or not. If it's his cancer coming back," Krista said.

In the meantime, Krista says she's uplifted by all the prayers.

"Thank you so very much for giving your hard earned money to my son and please, please, keep up the prayers 'cause they are working," Krista said.

A work in progress to get this fighter the treatment he needs.

As of Wednesday night, Krista says Hunter is out of the hospital and has plans to spend Thanksgiving with family at his Mimi's house.

To donate for Hunter's medical expenses, visit the Heroes for Hunter online fundraising page at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/heroes-for-hunter/93809


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