Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Capital Hill, Day #2

The second day was spent on Capital Hill meeting with Congress. It was officially "Childhood Cancer Action Day" and meetings were set up through the Alliance. My mom hasn't been feeling well so she stayed at the hotel to work on getting better. I grabbed a cab and made my way to the Cannon House Office. I admit I felt pretty lost but with my handy iPhone as my companion and my emails at hand, I was able to make it.  
The first meeting was with the actual Congresswoman (vs the staff person) Anna Eshoo.  Our advocacy trainer said that meeting with the staff person is just as important as meeting with the representative themselves.  The staffers do a lot of the ground work so it was time well spent.  Lisa, from St. Baldrick's Foundation and I sat with the congresswoman and he staffer and I told our story. I talked about my daughters cancer, I talked about research I've done that lead me to discover the huge lack of funding, I talked about holding my daughter when she was so sick and that the medicines they use to treat her cancer were so toxic that they burnt my arm when I came into contact with G's urine. I said "pee" and I wasn't going to apologies for it. This is the truth and they needed to know. I also talked about Claudia's experience and Tianna's experience.  We ended with Anna saying she would support the bill and we would follow up.  I actually gave her a hug and I think she appreciated it. She was a really neat lady...powerful, dynamic and a "cut to the chase" type lady but very sincere at the same time. 
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

The Capital, of course.  

At the Hart Senate Building.

The next meeting was with Congressman Tom McClintock which was on my own. A quick tour through the Capital then off to meet Senator Boxer's staffer and Senator Feinstein's staffer. Both meeting went well and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment for the day.  Then it was back to the hotel for a nap, checking in on my poor mom, going to the pharmacy for some cold medicine in the hopes that she would feel better then off to the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CACC) informal meeting at one of the local hotels. Tomorrow is the all day inaugural meeting for this newly founded organization but I might be taking my mom to urgent care so she can feel better.  We talked about going to the ER but thought an urgent care would suffice.  We will see. The thought of going to the ER makes me cringe a little...bings back memories. But if she needs it, we will definitely go.   I'm off to get some sleep!

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