Radio Dj Gets Help For Long-Term Maintenance Of Diabetes

“I never had to worry about health insurance, and I almost took it for granted,” says Manuel Esperanza, a 56-year-old diabetic.

Manuel has been employed for the past 37 years and had health insurance for at least 30 of them.

“Radio has changed so much, with not many part-time jobs and the people who have them hanging on for dear life,” he says.

Manuel has three grown children (and five grandchildren), two of whom live in Eugene and one who lives in Portland, where Manuel worked for 12 years in radio before he moved his family to Eugene. Known on the air as Andy Manuel, he worked full-time in radio for most of his adult life until he was let go by a local media company and then re-hired part-time, so the company does not pay benefits.

“I can’t say enough good things about VIM,” Manuel says. “They give you the time. You go to a regular doctor, and if you have more than one thing, they don’t have the time. [VIM’s medical director] is just awesome, and every nurse and the diabetic educator who worked with me has been fabulous.”

At VIM, Manuel received diabetic education workshops when he was diagnosed as diabetic to learn how to manage his disease. He also receives the medication necessary to maintain his quality of life daily. He receives his medication, valued at $129 per month, he says, through the Patient Assistance Program that VIM manages to connect patients with pharmaceutical giving programs that provide low-income patients their medications free.

Also, when Manuel started suffering from a pinched nerve in his shoulder, VIM referred him to doctors to take care of the problem and provide treatment for his chronic pain during that time.

“I can’t say enough good things about VIM. I’d be dead without them,” Manuel says. I don’t know how people survive without some kind of medical care. I went through some emotional stuff [while I was suffering from pain], and they gave me a positive feeling that there would be an end to it.”