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Most single women look for things like blue eyes, honesty or perhaps a cute smile in a man. For Vista's Terri Carlson, a $5 co-pay is the key to her heart. And now the 45-year-old divorced mom has thousands of suitors.
Carlson suffers from C4 complement deficiancy, a disease that prevents her system from fighting infections. But her health insurance expires in three months, and she has been denied coverage from just about every insurance provider. Without insurance, she doesn't know how she'll afford the 10-20 prescriptions she takes each day.
"There is no other health care option for me," the Orange Glenn High School graduate told the North County Times.
Except for one: A husband. Last week, she made a very public plea to find one -- with good benefits, of course -- launching a web site called Will Marry for Health Insurance. Since then, her inbox has flooded with more than 8,000 e-mails – half of them from potential mates.
“I’ve had all sorts of reactions from compassion to marriage (offers) to just overwhelming support from people who are stuck in the middle like me,” she said.
Carlson said her very public campaign is driven by desperation, not a desire for personal attention. She said she's received denials from every health insurance company she can find and made countless appeals to state and national leaders.
“They’re not going to pass health care reform, so what are my options?” she said in an interview with Lemondrop.com. “Friends and I were joking, and one friend said, ‘Well, you could always marry some guy who has a good policy.’ And I thought, You know what? That’s crazy. That’s unbelievable, but it’s my only option.”
Carlson said she's skimmed through some of the e-mails. Many are from other people suffering, sharing their own heartbreaking stories. According to Lemondrop.com, one man urges her to "Give Canada a shot."
She's going to read through all the e-mails more thoroughly soon, hoping to find a husband in her inbox. She'd like to be married within a year.
“I think I’m just like everybody else. I want companionship,” she said. “I think I can find good health insurance and love at the same time.”