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.
Even if I couldn’t make it to class yesterday, my recent productiveness is beginning to pay off. On Tuesday night, I E-mailed Legislative Assistant Kelsey Mishkin, who works with Congressman Grijalva’s office. This afternoon, I received the following reply from her:
Thank you for emailing, I apologize that our lines of communication have been so hectic.
I am currently working in the district and will be back to DC next week. I will see if I can get a proper description of some of the activities and missions of the caucus and will be touch.
How exciting! I suspect that we’ll be learning a lot more about the Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus in the days ahead. At any rate, I hope we can be provided with an updated roster of members. It would certainly make my job a heck of a lot easier.
Today, I am profiling Congressman Jerry Costello of Illinois. He is a more conservative Democrat who voted “yes” on healthcare reform. Rep. Costello is part of a group of pro-life Democrats who urged President Obama to sign an executive order that would ensure that the Hyde amendment restrictions on abortion would apply to the bill.
In addition to the Spina Bifida Caucus, Rep. Costello is a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Caucus, the House Army Caucus, the Congressional Rural Caucus, the Congressional Children’s Caucus, and the Coalition for Autism Research and Education.
As you can probably tell by my selective use of bold font, I am particularly interested in those caucuses that deal with chronic conditions.
With that, I leave you. I urge you all to please write to your Congresspeople and ask them about the possibility of membership on the Spina Bifida Caucus.
God Bless, and good night!