For the next 36 days (from March 28 to May 2), I will be contacting and writing about 36 extraordinary members of the House of Representatives. They are all extraordinary in that they form the bipartisan Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus, and so they strive to address the unique needs of the spina bifida community in the U.S. My “mission” is to write to them, and urge them to make quality of life, and not solely prevention, a priority on their agenda in Congress. It has come to my attention that education about spina bifida is critical during all the stages of development– from planning to prevent spina bifida through the consumption of folic acid, to comprehensive education about spina bifida once it is diagnosed. We need to educate, starting with the physicians and other healthcare providers, so that they will be made aware of the potential that each child with spina bifida possesses.
Every day you learn something new. At least, I’ve heard that’s how it’s supposed to be. Here’s a pretty important detail I learned today about our Congress: Guam, which is a U.S. territory, has a representative in the House.
I know this blog is supposed to be about raising awareness of spina bifida, and not about giving a lesson in U.S. Government (which, by the way, you will have to take in both high school and college, if you are still in school!). But here’s the thing. I felt really stupid as I Googled the next member on the Spina Bifida Caucus roster, and I couldn’t figure out what in the world “GU” stood for. I knew it wasn’t a state!
But yes, now I’m back on track. Mrs. Madeleine Bordallo was born in Minnesota, and raised on the island of Guam. Her late husband, Ricardo Bordallo, was governor of Guam in the mid-to-late seventies.
She served as Lieutenant Governor of Guam from 1995 to 2002. As a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Bordallo cannot participate in a House vote, but may participate and vote in Congressional caucuses. In addition to the Spina Bifida Caucus, the Congresswoman is a member of the Taiwan Caucus, the Travel and Tourism Caucus, the Navy/Marine Corps Caucus, the United States-Philippines Friendship Caucus, the Women’s Caucus, and the Bulgaria Caucus, to name a few. She is Co-Chair of the China Caucus, and is Chair of the Healthcare Task Force of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
A passionate philanthropist, Rep. Bordallo founded the Guam Council of Women’s Clubs, and the Guam Symphony Society.
She’s also the founder of the Marianas Association for Persons with Disabilities. Suffice it to say that I am very impressed.
Now, the time has come for me to sign off. I’m very happy that I have no classes tomorrow (I’m off Thursdays). I’m somewhat ashamed I didn’t go to class today, but if you had been around me today, you would have agreed that the severity of my allergies was positively debilitating. I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow.
Here’s to a better day for all of you (raises coffee mug)!
P.S. Yes, Dawn “Wenchie”– that toast was for you!