Susan Murphy-Milano, an author and fellow Forbes contributor, has made it her career to advocate for the rights of women and children. She even lobbied for the passage of 1993′s Illinois Stalking Law. Her quest for justice has been a 20-year pursuit.

Now, she's in the fight of her life against cancer and faces one of the biggest travesties of all: no health insurance.

Susan's life took another drastic turn in 1989 when her father, a 30-year veteran and decorated Chicago police detective, murdered her mother, Roberta, with his department-issued service revolver - a .44 magnum - then took his own life. Susan vowed to, for the rest of her life, speak for the victims of domestic violence - what she has termed "intimate partner violence" - to give them a voice and the tools to survive.

Susan, diagnosed in early June with stage IV cancer, isn't unlike many Americans who find themselves in similar circumstances without adequate medical coverage. Besides being pricey, the variations of coverage often don't pay the cost of treatment. According to a 2010 survey by the Center for Disease Control, 46 million Americans are without health insurance. One person, by my way of thinking, is too many.

Susan falls into those statistics. She has gone public with her disease, as explained by her publicist and good friend, Delilah Jones, who pointed out that "many across the nation know and love Susan for the work she's done with victims of abuse through hands-on guidance for over 20 years."

"Although Susan's disease is serious," Jones continued, "she's sharing her experiences publicly through a new blog. What Susan hopes to accomplish by exposing herself, her disease, and her treatment, is to show others that there is always hope."

Health care in this nation is not the same as health insurance. Everyone is guaranteed access to basic health care under a 1968 federal law. All patients, the law says, seeking care in hospital emergency rooms must be given a minimum level of treatment, with or without the ability to pay. The law applies to hospitals that participate in Medicare, most of which do. That care, however, does not provide for the type of treatment Susan is undergoing.

On her blog, Susan recently wrote:
"We should be given options at all stages of cancer diagnosis, and in this county are not. Insurance companies will only pay claims for procedures off their approved "menu list."

When this is all over and I am back on my feet, I plan to testify in Congress for changes in medical treatment that not only save lives, but provide quality, dignity and hope to an epidemic that now strikes 1 in 3 Americans everyday. Remember, a good attitude and support system are half the battle. The other is finding the right treatment program and oncologist."
We wish Susan the best as she takes on this new fight of her life. To learn more about Susan and her battle with cancer, go to her site Conquering Cancer.