June 17, 2011
A couple months ago I submitted an appeal to the Peace Corps’ Pre-service Review Board regarding their decision to not accept my application based on my Medical Review. I wrote a post about this earlier when I first got the bad news that I had been rejected from being a Peace Corps volunteer because of having rheumatoid arthritis and the medications I have to take for it. I submitted an appeal to this decision with a statement explaining why I should be accepted and that my RA would not be a problem, citing the fact that I have previously lived abroad. My rheumatologist also wrote a statement on my behalf. Well, obviously my appeal was not sufficient enough and they still rejected me.
“At your request, the Pre-service Review Board (PRB) has considered your case. The PRB has completed its review of your medical information, including the new information you provided, carefully considering it in the context of your medical history and physical findings. We are sorry to inform you the Board has reaffirmed the decision that we are unable to medically qualify you for Peace Corps service.”
Not fair, really, but what can I do? Maybe this is just another case of “it’s not meant to be.” I am getting sick of these not-meant-to-be situations, however. But it probably is a blessing in disguise. Onto the next thing, right. What should that be?
February 17, 2011
I finally heard back about the status of my Medical Review from the Peace Corps yesterday – bad news. I have been officially NOT accepted into the Peace Corps because I did not pass the Medical Review thanks to having rheumatoid arthritis. The woman on the phone really didn’t have much additional information (nor did she seem to know what she was talking about when I tried to ask questions). She just kept saying that I wasn’t accepted because of one of my medications, Remicade, and that I need to have lab work done every three months because my condition is chronic. I think she repeated this at least three times. Yes, yes I understand. I tried to bring up the fact that I have lived in both Ireland and France and while living abroad found a way to get the medication and treatment I needed to keep my RA stable. She just told me that I’ll be receiving a letter from the Peace Corps soon with instructions detailing how to write and submit an appeal. I’ve decided I will submit my appeal and see what happens. What else can I do? Despite having a chronic illness, I really do think I would be a great asset to the Peace Corps and could make it be a wonderful experience. I realize on their end that I am probably a risk and liability to them, but I still don’t think it’s quite fair.