Day 231- Rep. Fred Upton (R, Michigan)

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.

So, the celebration of Main Street Republicans continues! Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan is very much a Main Street legislator. He is a supporter of stem cell research, and is a member of the House Centrist Coalition. He does, however, take a mostly pro-life stance on issues, which is a very good thing for the spina bifida cause.

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Additionally, Rep. Upton is a member of the Diabetes Caucus,  and of the Medical Technology Caucus. He has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Michigan. Very cool.

Congressman Upton is known for his informal rapport with his constituents, often urging them to “call me Fred.” According to his Web site (linked above), “Fred has also been leading the fight against cancer in Congress, and continues to push for a greater emphasis on research and development to improve the public health.”

I seriously can’t wait to write to him! I read that he personally signs all replies to letters, and that he often even adds personal comments. We’ll see!

Again, I want to address the topic of our Facebook Fan page. Thanks to all your support, we now have 86 fans! But, please, let’s not stop there. The voices of spina bifida need to be heard, and this is a great opportunity for those of you who want to get involved with a good cause, but have very little time to devote to it. All you really need to do to help this cause is become a fan– and tell others to become fans, too. This is important, because if you really want this cause to succeed, you can’t allow it to stop with you. Please, please share the page with your friends on Facebook, and invite them to join!

That’s all for tonight. I’m so happy I was able to chill for a while after Church with Mom at one of my local favorite haunts– Le Café de Paris. I was having one of those “I never get to do anything on the weekends” moments (even though I partied late at Art of the Vine last night!). I wonder if this is just an “only child” thing, or if it’s a “spina bifida” thing. Do any of you feel like growing up with spina bifida has led you to become more socially isolated? Your comments on the subject are welcome!

Peace out, and have a great, socially-satisfying weekend!

Laurita ♥

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