The Prince William County Board of Supervisors needs to represent and provide equitable opportunity for all its residents. When I speak to my neighbors, they tell me about their concerns that are going unaddressed.
We must ensure excellent educational opportunities for all our students. Every child who desires to go to college must be provided quality preparation to do so. If students elect not go to college, quality job-training opportunities that provide skills and placement in well-paying jobs must be offered.
Development is everywhere in PWC, especially in the Neabsco District. It is important that this development benefits middle and working class families. The people who provide everyday services in the county should be able to afford to live here.
The tolls on I95 and I66 are making the commute to work outrageously expensive or excruciatingly long. PWC residents should not have to choose between spending money they cannot afford or sitting in traffic for hours. We must work with Richmond to get a more equitable toll system and public transit improvements.
A Personal Story about access TO hEALTHCARE
This is the story of my miracle grandbaby Gaby. I took the first picture on July 15, 2014, two weeks after her birth, on the day Dr. McDaniel told me she was not going to survive the next 24 hours. My heart sank to a bottomeless pit! I took the second picture this last Christmas.
I have cried, prayed the rosary, and advocated on her behalf at the state and federal level like a lioness.
She is the first child to my one and only daughter Veronica. My first granddaughter Gaby was diagnosed with the most severe type of supraventricular tachycardia, known as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, in utero at 20 weeks of gestation. WPW is an extra electrical pathway in Gaby's heart that makes it work at 270 beats-per-minute and higher; life is not sustainable at that pace.
After the original news, my daughter Veronica agreed to take heart medication at high doses so the right level of medicine could reach the developing fetus in her womb. At her seven month check-up, the fetus' heart stopped. Doctors rushed my pregnant daughter to the operating room, performed a cesarean, took the baby out, and revived her. Gaby remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia Hospital, in Charlottesville, for five months. Dr. McDaniel, head of pediatric cardiology, and the entire pediatric medical and nursing personnel still cannot understand how Gaby survived.
When Gaby was born, her parents made "too much" money to qualify for assistance but didn't make enough to actually pay for the healthcare their child so desperately needed. The hospital bill exceeds ONE MILLION dollars and will continue to grow because she still needs treatment.
My little darling Gaby miraculously got better. We prayed; we alternated holding Gaby to our chest; and my daughter managed a complex spreadsheet of medicines we had to administer to her newborn. Gaby still takes heart medicine twice daily; she will turn five at the end of June this year.
Gaby is the most happy child you could ever meet. You can catch us playing on the sidewalk or at the playground in my neighborhood when the days are warm. She loves to ride her tricycle and teach her baby sister Lani.
Dr. McDaniel has adjusted Gaby's medicine and will perform heart surgery to try to fix the extra electrical pathway in her heart when she is older. I will need you all to pray for Gaby, the surgeon, the entire medical personnel that will handle her case at UVA Hospital. Please ask the Lord our God to perform miracles through their expertise in science. I will need you to pray for her parents Veronica and Ryan, that they always care and guide both Gaby and Lani into responsible adulthood, capable of making sound decisions. And lastly, I will need you to pray for me, that the Lord and all the Saints, especially the Virgin Mary be with me that I may be there for all of them.
I tell you this story because Gaby is the personification of pre-existing conditions in healthcare. Without the Affordable Care Act, she would have reached her lifetime maximum healthcare coverage way before she could leave the hospital and would not be with us today. That is inconceivable.
For a very long time, the Republican-led Virginia legislature refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. This left families like my daughter's struggling to get by and making life and death decisions day by day. Families should not have to choose between eating, paying rent, or paying for the medicine that will keep them alive. We can do better than that.
As your representative in the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, I promise to fight for all of us, to work with our state leaders in Richmond, and with our Congressional leaders to find solutions to the challenges we face.
I humbly ask you to honor me with your vote.