Day 224- Rep. Mark Kirk (R, Illinois)

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.

I’m noticing a very distinct trend throughout my research of the alleged current members of the Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus. I’ve realized that most of the members so far, even the Republicans, tend to sway toward the left, or the center. I’m just making an observation here, since I’ve had the chance to explore each individual’s track record a bit.

I find it somewhat interesting, but at the same time, it’s unsettling, which brings me to yet another goal of mine in the not-so-distant future: we must make the right care about spina bifida, as well. I can see definite possibilities for attracting conservatives to this cause, and to the spina bifida caucus, especially on the pro-life argument. Many Congresspeople may be unaware of just how many unborn children are aborted when spina bifida is diagnosed. I’m unaware of the number, myself.

Anyhow, here’s the scoop on today’s representative. It would be impossible to name all of the caucuses and legislative committees that Congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois is involved with! He’s on the Army Caucus, the Coalition for Autism Research and Education, the Congressional Kidney Caucus, the Arts Caucus, the Human Rights Caucus, the Impact Aid Coalition, the Medical Technology Caucus, the Biotechnology

Caucus, and the House Republican Israel Caucus, again, just to name a few.

Additionally, Rep. Kirk is Vice Chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, and is on the Congressional Task Force on International HIV/AIDS.

He has a J.D. (law degree) from Georgetown University, and an M.S. from London School of Economics. (I think the latter is so cool!)

And now for a little “spring cleaning” (or rather, “cluttering”) issue! You might have noticed the new tab at the top of my homepage that reads “Holdin’ Out in the News.” This is just something I decided to do recently, so that anyone can access all media related to “Holdin’ Out” in one easy, convenient spot. I’ve embedded links to most of the articles, interviews, blog posts, and the video in which I was featured talking about the blog and about spina bifida awareness. There are still a few missing– I will be posting the MediaBistro story very soon!

So, please remember that, in the future, all news items and such will be posted on that part of the site. Honestly, even though it is something of a chore to have to go back and create links for each of these items, going back to them and viewing/reading them encourages me so much. It makes me realize that we’ve come a long way since I was practically screaming at people in cyberspace to READ MY BLOG.

I may scream at you guys every now and then. I don’t want to get rusty.  🙂

LOVE,

LAURA

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