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'I Didn't Want To Die': Why One Woman Turned To Trading Options To Fund Life-Extending Stem Cell Treatments

'I Didn't Want To Die': Why One Woman Turned To Trading Options To Fund Life-Extending Stem Cell Treatments

Nov. 22, 2017 started as a relatively uneventful day for Yvonne Shore.

She went to her job — "the best job ever" — as a car dealership auditor in Atlanta.

But for Shore, 70, the past few months had not been normal. She had been having a hard time breathing — deep breaths especially.

Though she’d led an active life — having once jet skied across the U.S. — she was finding herself out of breath faster than usual. She would work one day and have to take off the next.

Frustrated, Shore went to her doctor. She wasn’t exactly expecting good news, but she had know way of knowing just how bad the news would be.

Up until this point, Shore had led “the most beautiful life.”

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she spent most of her career as an executive secretary. Even the periods of turmoil seemed to work themselves out. It was the death of her mother and end of her first marriage in quick succession that prompted her cross-country jet ski excursion, which led to her resettling in Atlanta, and in turn her second marriage.

On Jan. 26, 2018, she learned she had chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. Shore was told she was unlikely to live past Christmas.

‘A Miracle Treatment’ — But At A Cost

According to the American Lung Association, 11 million people have been diagnosed with COPD and 3.1 million with emphysema, though many more could be living unknowingly with the diseases.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 8.6 million people have chronic bronchitis.

Though they can be treated with inhalers, antibiotics, steroids or a lung transplant in severe cases, no known cures exist for emphysema or chronic bronchitis, which can lead to COPD.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the ALA.

Shore said she tried inhalers and medications, but none were helping. That was when she heard about an experimental stem cell therapy treatment at the Nashville Lung Institute.

The problem: Shore needed $12,000 just to walk in the door, and it wouldn't be covered by insurance.

She found a possible solution online.

“I had always wanted to learn the stock market and to trade,” Shore said.

Trading Like Her Life Depended On It

After signing up for a few online classes and joining several communities, Shore finally explained her situation to one mentor who went by Joe Stocks.

“I went back to my teacher and I said ‘here’s the deal. I’m dying and I want to live. And I need $12,000 in a matter of two to three weeks. Can you help me?’"

The mentor asked how much Shore had on hand; the answer was about $2,500.

"And he said ‘perfect.’ And we did. Under his tutelage I made $41,000 in 17 days.”

Shore said her main strategy is scalping, or looking for repeatable opportunities where she can make quick profits in a small group of stocks. In doing so, she has gotten to know Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) — which she said she trades every day — and routinely trades Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL),, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other blue-chip stocks.

Shore said she was not afraid of trading because she was desperate to find a way to pay her medical expenses.

“Sort of like my jet skis, I just hopped right on and went and I raced. I guess I did the same thing with the stock market because I needed money and I knew it was going to be an easy way to make money, or so I thought. And it worked out very nicely for me.”

After getting more comfortable with trading, Shore eventually transitioned to options, which is her preferred instrument today.

“Options keep me pretty well occupied,” Shore said. “I like the up and down. I like the quickness of it. I like the instant gratification right away in the morning that I’ve made anywhere from $50 to $500 in a few minutes.”

Shore and trading friends Jean Kramb and Whit Russell discussing stocks and options.

Lessons Learned

Shore said her biggest wins and losses were both around $8,000. And though she hasn’t been as consistently successful as in that initial period, she said she has done well enough to continue to afford treatment.

“In order to win, you have to lose,” Shore said.

“That’s the best lesson of all. It teaches you. Even though you lost money, you feel really good about it because you know what your error was and you try not to make that error again.”

The trading education space can be tricky for novices to navigate.

The best trading groups will give users a free trial to see whether they like the course or not, Shore said; this is what helped her find one of her current groups, XTrades.

Shore also cited Positive Trends, Perspective Trading, Real Life Trading and Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep as online communities she’s learned from.

Shore, far right, with her daughter Robyn Steckel, far left, Jerremy Newsome of Real Life Trading and his fiance Ashley Allen. Shore met Newsome while receiving treatment in Nashville.

She also suggests searching on YouTube to help judge whether a group is legitimate or not.

“I’ve always had a good sense about me and whether I think I should do something or not,” Shore said.

“I just knew from the moment I started that particular class that I liked it. If you find a class or a group that you like, I would suggest going to YouTube and listening to them.”

What Does This Say About The State Of Health Care?

Shore, Steckel and her nurses at the Nashville Lung Institute.

Stem cell therapy has a complicated legislative history that currently doesn’t allow insurance companies to cover the treatment.

Shore's need to find alternative ways to pay for her therapy shows the American healthcare system is in disarray, Shore said.

“It sucks,” Shore said of the U.S. health care system.

“There are so many people that could still be here with us [if] our government could allow stem cell treatments for everybody at a reduced rate so everybody could afford it. Our country would be much better off.”

Since the diagnosis, Shore’s health varies day-by-day. Weather changes can disrupt her breathing, and it’s difficult for her to get around.

Though the stem cell treatments are helping, the advanced nature of Shore’s diagnosis means the best she can hope for is to maintain her current quality of life a little while longer.

“I see the results,” Shore said.

She previously used an inhaler 14 times a day and is down to two. Shore was on oxygen 24/7 and is now using it for a few hours every six or seven days. 

“That is how much it has helped me.”

She plans to keep on trading as long as she can.

“I was supposed to pass last Christmas, and I’m still here.”

Shore will be a featured guest on Thursday's Premarket Prep Show at 8:35 a.m. EST. Click here to watch.

Lead photo: Yvonne Shore, right, and her daughter Robyn Steckel. All photos courtesy of Yvonne Shore.


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