Online donations reach $100K for sick Valley Stream man

An online donation page has raised thousands for a Valley Stream man diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma.



Doctors have offered to include Joseph Verrelli, 32, in a new clinical trial, but he says his insurance company, Emblem Health, will not pay for it.



"What's the point of paying for insurance if you do your job, you pay your part, and then they come back and tell you, 'Sorry, you're not being covered,'" asks Verrelli.



The news was not enough to break Meagan Robar, Verrelli's girlfriend. She set up a GoFundMe page Friday night in hopes that the public could contribute to the cost of the treatment. The clinical trial could cost as much as $120,000.



In three days, she was able to raise over $100,000 toward their goal.



"It's crazy, it's amazing, it's definitely restored my faith in humanity," said Verrelli. "There's a lot of people that are anonymous that are donating hundreds, some people are donating thousands. It's insane."



A spokesperson for Emblem Health told News 12 that they are glad the situation was brought to their attention and have approved Verrelli's treatment.



Verrelli said he's still waiting for confirmation. He says he would return the money or donate it to a cancer organization, if true.


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