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Emily's Introduction to Advocacy


Guest Blogger: Emily C.

My name is Emily Certain and I’m 17 years young. I had the amazing opportunity to venture with my Aunt Karen to Senator Patty Murray’s local office in Tacoma, Washington. My aunt is Karen Dionne, and she is a stroke survivor. Karen had a hemorrhagic stroke at the young age of 37, only four months before her wedding. She had to completely re-learn how to walk but on her wedding day, Karen was walking and dancing all on her own. Her story is very unique and dear to me.

We visited Senator Murray’s office to discuss the proposed cuts in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. These cuts would be damaging because they could delay discoveries that can help heart and stroke survivors. I was not an expert on the NIH before the meeting, but now I understand what the conflicts and issues mean to the people they affect. We spoke with Patty’s aid, Kristine Reeves. She was extremely welcoming and she even took extra time to explain the confusing terms to me.

At the end of our meeting, Kristine explained to us that Senator Murray is typically supportive of health-related issues. She assured us that our message would be on Senator Murray’s desk in just a few short days and that we can expect her support. 

It was a very interesting and touching experience to see how my aunt uses her misfortune to help others. Because isn’t that really what life is about?

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