I normally try to keep politics off of my blog.

This time, though, I can’t keep quiet.

In light of the recent votes on the state of healthcare in our country, I’ve decided to write an open letter.

While addressed to the President, it isn’t just to him. He doesn’t pass votes himself. This is to all of the the elected officials and all of the regular people who have celebrated the repeal of the coverage of the “weak.”

Let me tell you something.

We are far from weak.

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Dear Mr. President,

My name is Haley. I’m 25-years-old. I’m a writer—both for work and play. And I’m generally a pretty bubbly, happy person.

But today, I’m not feeling so bubbly.

Let me tell you why.

I work out. I eat healthy. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink a lot.

Yet, I’m a Type 1 diabetic.

I did nothing to cause the deadly disease that I struggle to live with every day. Neither, in fact, did my parents do anything to cause it before or after my birth.

It just happened.

Just a stroke of luck…or lack thereof.

A reaction in the stars. An order from someone up above. A biological short circuit.

Whichever way you flip it, it just happened to me.

So let me ask you something.

 

Don’t I deserve to live?

 

If you think that question sounds dramatic, think again.

A quick Google search of Type 1 diabetes will go straight to the lovely complications: blindness, loss of limbs, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, neuropathy…I could be here all day.

And those are only if you live to tell the tale.

As it is, I spend a ridiculous portion of my time fighting with insurance companies and medical offices to receive the medications I cannot live without. It’s already more than I can afford—and I’m lucky enough to have a full time job and supportive parents.

If I were to be deprived of insulin, I would likely die within days.

So again. Let me ask you.

Do you think I deserve to live?

Do you, Mr. President?

Because let me tell you something.

 

I think I damn well deserve to live.

 

I work my butt off. I’m a go-getter. I try to be kind to everyone I encounter. I would do anything for my family and friends. I stick up for those that need it.

Not good enough?

But I even pay my taxes! (Isn’t that what you care about?)

I’m going to ask you to do something for me.

Just take a minute. Close your eyes.

Now imagine one of your children in my shoes. Diagnosed with a chronic illness with no cure…out of the blue.

This illness will attempt to take your child’s life every waking moment for the rest of their lives.

Imagine losing sleep, like my parents do, wondering whether your child will wake up in the morning.

Imagine the sound of the ringing on the other side of the phone as you try, over and over again, to reach your child. Sure, they might just be out with friends or even in the shower. But they could also be laying helpless and alone in a diabetic coma. You can never be sure.

Imagine your child being forced to become an adult far too soon, while kids their age get to focus on having fun.

Imagine your child being made fun of in school for having to stop and treat a low blood sugar or for sticking themselves with a needle at lunchtime.

Imagine watching your child go pale and limp as they start to slur their words from a low blood sugar.

Imagine your child navigating the dating world, attempting to find a partner that is willing to learn about their disease…and willing to stay with them through it.

Imagine your child attempting to carry your future grandchildren with the burden of wondering if their health problems will be inherited.

Now…imagine if your president decided your child’s life wasn’t worth enough.

If they decided that your child was too much of a financial burden on the country.

If they deprived your child of the healthcare he or she needs to make it through to tomorrow.

Ok. Now, imagine your child having to have a limb amputated.

A kidney removed.

Going blind.

 

Imagine your child dead.

 

My story is just one of millions, Mr. President.

 

Don’t you think we deserve to live?

 

Sincerely,

Haley Brennan

 

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