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.
Tonight, I’d like to take just a moment to once again thank all of you who have been so supportive of me and of “Holdin’ Out for a Hero.” You are all so truly amazing! Yesterday, my courage was tested again, and this time I feel I came out stronger because of the people I have backing me up.
To me, correcting public officials is not a matter of “they need to be corrected in spite of being elected officials.” Rather, they need to be corrected because they are elected officials! We have the responsibility of letting our representatives know when we feel we have been misrepresented to the public. This goes for any minority, oppressed group, or anyone.
I don’t think anyone is above political correctness, especially politicians! Nevertheless, let’s give them another try, shall we?Everybody deserves a second chance.
Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa seems to be a country boy at heart. Born and raised in rural Iowa, he grew up learning “hard work, community service, and strong values.”
In May 2009, Rep. Latham introduced to Congress the Nurses Higher Education and Loan Repayment Act, in response to the dismal shortage of nurses. This would help create a federal program by which loans would be repaid for nurses pursuing higher education in order to become nursing instructors.
He is on the Task Force for a Drug-Free America, and is on the Prescription Drug Action Leadership Team. Congressman Latham is also the only Iowan on the House Appropriations Committee.
Additionally, Rep. Latham serves as Co-Chair of the Rural Caucus’ Meth Task Force, on the Congressional Ethanol Caucus, and the Rural Health Care Coalition.
And…he still makes time to help run a family business with his brothers– called Latham Seeds. Let’s hope something “blossoms” out of this contact!
Please keep reposting this blog’s URL on your Web sites, Facebooks, MySpaces, Twitters, you-name-it. You have no idea how much just one retweet or mention can make a difference!
I’m off to class tomorrow– once again. I’ll try to put a dent in my list of letters this week, when I’m not studying or in class. I know I have so much to catch up on, but with a little faith, and a lot of support, I will get it all done. Don’t forget to please do your part by writing to your Congresspeople! They’re here to listen to what you have to say. Let them know that you want them to make spina bifida awareness, and not just prevention, a priority on their legislative agendas.
A special shout-out to Robert Hensel, an amazing man with an awesome Web site! Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I can’t tell you just how much that means to me. Robert is a published poet and, among many other accomplishments, the Guinness Book record holder for “longest nonstop wheelie in a wheelchair.” That is totally awesome! Check out his site, where you can find out more about one of the world’s most tireless disability advocates.
Good night, and Good luck,