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Foundation gas cards help Rosebud man access health care

David Kee has traveled many miles in his life. He grew up on the north side of Chicago, moving here and there when the mood struck. His traveling days came to a halt when he found himself without transportation while his car was being repaired over a long period of time.

The Horizon Health Foundation stepped in to help with gas cards that allowed him to get to podiatry appointments in Winner and X-rays and cat scans for his spine in Valentine, NE.

“Those cards are necessary and very helpful,” Kee said. “I’m sure a lot of people really appreciate those. I hope it continues and we can continue to get that assistance be it gas or medical.”

Kee has diabetes and a narrow spine. He has 10 screws and two rods in his neck and needs more corrective surgery. His feet have been affected by diabetes. His Horizon provider was able to get numbers associated with his diabetes under control. They were twice as high as they should be, but are now at normal levels. He’s also struggled with depression that he said he worked through with Horizon Health Care providers in Mission.

Kee moved to the Rosebud area from California when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver Cirrhosis.

His brother was married to a local woman. Kee brought his mother to visit them and decided it was a good place to live.

“I know I’m Native American,” Kee said. “But knowing what it means, I didn’t realize until I got here.”

He began learning more about the Native American religion and ceremonies.

“They don’t teach you about Native American traditions or church,” he said. “That’s what I ended up getting here. I got to see what sweats were about. I found the real power of prayer.”

He ended up getting what he thinks is higher quality healthcare as well. Kee said he was tired of going back and forth to different doctors. He wanted continuity for his care and found that at the Mission Community Health Center.

“Every little bit helps, everything that they’ve done, people contributing to these gas cards, it’s a necessity for people to be able to get back and forth to their appointments,” Kee said. “It’s hard to get somewhere because you don’t have a vehicle or because you don’t have gas. I’m thankful that they contribute – the staff and donors that help.”