Congratulations and THANK YOU to our May Advocates of the Month: Tom Chelius, Sue Enright (West Bend Area Myeloma Support Group Leader), Dick Skalitzky and his daughter Shauna Skalitzky.
On April 27, 2011 the group along with many others participated in the Wisconsin Coalition for Cancer Treatment Access (WCCTA) “A Day at the Capitol.” The lobby day took place in Madison where constituents from all over Wisconsin gathered to show support for the Oral Chemotherapy Access bill.
Tom, Sue, Dick and Shauna met with Representative Evan Wynn, Repesentative Jeff Stone, Senator Mary Lazich, and Representative Richard Spanbauer to request that each legislator sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill.
We asked each advocate to share his/her thoughts about the day…
Tom – “After saying our good-byes, I headed back to Milwaukee. I had never done anything like this before in my life. When I got home, I could only think of how glad I was to have done it…absolutely no regrets. I originally had wondered if I actually would have been of use, since I didn’t have insurance coverage issue, but I now look back at the day, and think that perhaps I did make a difference, which will hopefully benefit many of my fellow survivors. Like my struggle with myeloma, it took a team effort and we worked wonderfully together. Let’s hope and pray that Wisconsin becomes state number 12 to adopt this important legislation.”
You can read Tom’s full personal story about “A Day at the Capitol” in the next Myeloma Today. Also, be sure to check out an article written in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel online about Tom and his brother.
Sue – “A Day at the Capitol was an excellent opportunity to speak up on behalf of cancer patients. Our voices make a HUGE difference and the individual journeys our team members shared were invaluable. Some of the legislators we spoke with were clearly moved by these accounts, which brought about a positive and influential impact. If we want change, we must let our voices be heard!! I am grateful to live in a nation that allows us the freedom and opportunity to express ourselves by meeting with our legislators and to help make a difference in the lives of others. It is an opportunity we must never take for granted.”
Dick – “It is amazing what can be accomplished by working together with fellow patients, caregivers, the IMF and other cancer groups to support legislation that will benefit all cancer patients and their families in the future. What we did in Madison really was a team effort and all of us felt that we had the desired impact on convincing our legislators of the importance of the Oral chemo drug parity law.”
Shauna – “It was interesting to witness the governmental process in action and I was extremely glad to have the chance to support my father in his attempt to help get equal options for chemotherapy treatments.”
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