HOUSTON - Dr. Jennifer Chilek has a rare autoimmune disease.
"Mine especially affects my breathing muscles, my diaphragm, and my swallowing muscles," she said. "I've had to be on a ventilator eight times so far for it."
Chilek was diagnosed with the rare disorder in 2010.
"There's two of you right now," the doctor said. "So the double vision is basically what led to the diagnosis."
Chilek went from being a general practitioner seeing 3,000 patients to hardly being able to walk and talk.
"I know I look pretty good right now, fine, healthy, but I'm not," she said. "I can't use my muscles, my voice goes out like this, my posture is terrible. I can't breathe, I can't walk. I saved up all my energy today for this."
Since 2017, the doctor has been battling Blue Cross-Blue Shield to get medications she says could save her life.
"To navigate the system now, it's almost impossible," said Chilek.
Former patients and friends have used social media to get Blue Cross-Blue Shield's attention.
Dozens of her supporters showed up for our interview.
"I came out here to support her," said Bill Jones. "I support her 100 percent."
"Anything I can do to help her that's why I'm here," said Steve Krauszer.
"Jenny's a fighter, she'll never give up hopefully this helps," said Jared White.
Dr. Chilek got some good news on Wednesday as Blue Cross-Blue Shield approved. Her for the prescription drug Solirus.
"It's an immune suppressant, I have to be extremely careful," she said.
She's still fighting the insurance company for another drug, Procrit
"Procrit is a temporary fix to keep me from having to go to the hospital constantly to get blood transfusions," Chilek said.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield sent us this statement, "Prescription drugs are a vital part of our members' health care coverage. We are committed to providing our members access to quality cost effective treatment options. Our medical team collaborates with physicians and researchers to constantly review the effectiveness of various medical treatments to produce the best quality cost-effective outcomes. We will continue to provide our members with access to high value, evidence-based health-care treatments."