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Organizing fellows: Zach on Erin’s story

Our organizing fellows are hard at work building neighborhood and campus teams across the country. As the spring organizing fellowship continues, we’ll hear from a few of the organizers about their experiences.

My friend Erin, a wonderfully cheerful student who goes to Loras College with me, has an amazingly moving story about her experience with a chronic illness and how she has a better quality of life thanks to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Her story begins after experiencing excruciating pain in her right foot on college visits in 2008. When she went to get it checked out, Erin recalls the doctor asking a funny question.

“The first question the rheumatologist asked me was, ‘Do you have any sausage digits?’ I looked at her like she was crazy. She said, ‘You know, any toes or fingers that are really swollen or pudgy?’ I said yes, my middle toe on my right foot. I was soon sent off to doctors and diagnosed with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

“If I did not have my parents’ health insurance, I would be pretty physically debilitated. As a soon-to-be-graduated college student and teacher, I need health insurance so I can continue to be on the treatment that I’m on. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I can now stay on my parents’ health insurance until I’m 26, and insurance companies can’t drop me because of my pre-existing condition or deny me a new insurance plan because of it.

“I believe that every American should receive health insurance. I cannot imagine my life without health insurance or the care I have received and continue to receive. You cannot live your life to the fullest when untreated with a condition like mine. Trust me, nobody with these unexplainable diseases chose to have them.”

Stories like Erin’s keep me going each day, inspired to give 100 percent for the President, making calls and reaching out to voters at Loras and other colleges in the area. Erin’s story proves that the President is working for all of us, not just a select few. And now Erin’s got a better quality of life thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Join Erin and share your own health care story.

Stay tuned for more from Zach and other organizing fellows this spring.

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