Health Uncategorized

Advocacy, Coffee, and Friends

I’m back from an incredible trip to Washington, D. C., where I had the opportunity to connect with others affected by arthritis, to learn about how we can make a difference for the lives of others living with it, and to meet with the staff of members of Congress about 3 key issues for those with arthritis. It was an incredibly busy couple of days, but just overall and awesome trip.

Sunday
Started off the trip with my wheelchair driver asking me if I wanted to go to Starbucks before my gate

Lunch with Miss Rebecca E. Mill at Taqueria Nacional

I spent the rest of Sunday with one of my oldest friends – we’ve known each other since we were 7 and I actually introduce his sister as my sister – which was great because he lives in D. C. and I haven’t seen him since Thanksgiving.

Monday
Started off Monday with an iced coffee with almond milk from Dunkin before heading to the hotel where the summit was.
Monday was all about learning how to be an advocate, learning about the three key issues we would speak about on Tuesday, meeting other advocates, and planning our meetings and talks for Tuesday. It was an incredibly long day – I went pretty much non-stop from 7 AM to 9 PM – but a good one.
Tuesday

Tuesday began with a closing session before we headed to Capitol Hill! I, along with several other members of the Massachusetts delegation, met with the staff of two senators and two representatives. We spoke about them joining the Arthritis Caucus, where they would be able to receive regular information on arthritis and citizens who have arthritis; signing a letter to the Department of Defense asking for allocated funding for arthritis research because it is the second leading cause of discharge from the U. S. Army and 1 in 4 veterans have arthritis; and asking them to co-sign or support the Patients Access to Treatment Act, which will help keep medication costs manageable.

I flew home Tuesday night and spent Wednesday resting and catching up! I plan to speak more about advocacy and what I learned at a later date. Overall, I hope that what I said made a difference and that I helped make life for others with arthritis a little bit better.

Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit Series
Enter to win $20 to DSW!

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