Shape Magazine–Breast Cancer Special

September 25, 2012

Marion Pollock knew she was taking a chance by forgoing health coverage for herself and her son and daughter back in 2010. Working as a nail technician on a contract basis, the 32-year-old single mom wasn’t entitled to employee benefits. With her salary, buying a medical plan on her own was out of the question: The average family premium would have cost her upwards of $7,100 a year.

So when she felt a lump in her right breast, she panicked. “I had no idea how I was going to afford a mammogram let alone pay for treatment if it turned out to be something serious,” she recalls. For three months, she waited and worried, hoping the problem would go away.