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September 15, 2023

When Matt Kleczewski stepped off his flight from Naples to Milwaukee, he knew something was wrong. Earlier that day, he’d had a strange nosebleed and started noticing large bruises on his body.

He went to the closest urgent care and a series of tests showed his blood platelet count was only 7,000 (a healthy range is 150,000-450,000*). He was immediately sent to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Because travel isn’t safe for someone with this condition, Matt had to stay in Milwaukee to begin treatment right away.

Getting support and guidance from a Florida Blue care team

After Matt’s diagnosis, he was assigned a care team to help guide and support him through his journey. This is a no-extra-cost benefit that comes with most Florida Blue plans. “I was immediately put at ease,” Matt said, when he got the call from Vanessa and Virginia, two Florida Blue registered nurses who would serve as his care team.

Matt was relieved to have help at a time when he had so much to juggle: learning about his cancer and treatment, filling out paperwork, and navigating his insurance benefits. “When I had problems or questions, I knew I could call Virginia and Vanessa to get answers quickly.”

For example, they helped get the approvals for his stem cell transplant to be performed out of state. And they helped him find affordable housing near the hospital. There was room for his mom to stay there, and she became his primary caregiver for six months during his treatment and transplant.

Staying in touch with secure messaging

One way that Matt stayed in touch with his care team was through secure messaging. He could text them when needed help, and they’d reply quickly. “I had so few precious waking moments between chemo, immunotherapy, and my transplant. I wanted to spend that time talking with loved ones. Having my care team just a text away meant I had one less battle to fight.”

Life in remission

Matt’s brother was a perfect stem cell match, and his cancer is in remission since his transplant. Now, his focus is self-healing and supporting other people battling cancer. “Cancer is a bully, and I’m going to fight this bully for the rest of my life.”

He’s thankful that his care team nurses, Virginia and Vanessa, were there for him. “I think having the Florida Blue care team is a valuable benefit that members need to know they have. You can contact that team and trust your nurse will have your back and be an advocate.” 

Get the support you need today at no extra cost

“I want more Florida Blue members to know we’re here for them when they need us,” said Virginia. “As a nurse on your care team, we can call your doctor’s office, offer support, check prescriptions, get you in-home health services, and more. We help at any stage of your health journey, even if you just need moral support or someone to talk to.”

Matt was assigned to a care team due to his diagnosis, but members can also call the team directly to ask for the support they need. Our team can help with things like managing asthma or diabetes, recovering from in-patient surgeries, and more.

Read more about our care teams or call them directly based on the type of health coverage you have:

*Johns Hopkins Medicine. “What Are Platelets and Why Are They Important?”

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