Joshua: Gore Springs, MS


JoshuaJoshua has always had a small mole on the top of his head. When he was a child, his mother, Emily, would check on it to make sure it hadn't changed. Growing up, Joshua had Medicaid, so Emily always knew that if something were to happen, he could see a specialist and would be taken care of.

But when Joshua turned 18, he lost his Medicaid coverage because he was no longer a child, and Mississippi has not yet expanded its Medicaid program to cover low-income adults. That meant when he noticed that the mole had grown considerably, he no longer had the health insurance he needed to get it checked out.

"I called a dermatologist to see how much it would cost, and we couldn't even afford the first visit," Emily said. "I need to get him to see somebody, but he falls in that hole where he can't get health insurance." With a family history of cancer on both sides, Emily is afraid for Joshua, and knows that if he had health insurance, she wouldn't have to be so afraid. "Who left this hole here for people who need help the most to just fall right in there?" she asked.

Joshua is currently a college student, with plans to become a teacher. He works full-time at a restaurant when he's not in school or studying, though with the pandemic, his income isn't as steady as it used to be. "It's not right," Emily said. "It's not right at all. My boy is one of the most wonderful people you would ever want to meet. He's smart, he has a good heart, and it's just so unfair that he can't get the health care he needs."

"No mother should ever have to sit there and worry how she is going to have to keep her child from dying," Emily said.

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