“When my daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia this last Thanksgiving, I only had access to the federal unpaid FMLA, where i could use up my vacation time to help pay my bills, but that wasnt going to last long. My husband stopped training at his unpaid training program to stay at the hospital with her during the day while I worked slightly reduced hours supplemented with my dwindling vacation time, and we swapped nights staying at the hospital with her for the month long stay. She is now in outpatient clinic treatment, but has had unexpected hospitalizations for fevers with low blood counts, and allergic reactions to treatment medications. All while i have to keep working full time.

I have been forced to miss her appointments with her oncologist and have responses to my questions filtered through my husband, which can be very frustrating not being able to be there to have these conversations face to face. I have been forced to not be able to take time to spend with her while she is isolated at because the flu epidemic at school could be life threatening for her compromised immune system. My husband can’t go back to his unpaid training program because we need my income to support our family’s expenses and carry the insurance that is keeping us from going bankrupt from her treatment costs. There is something seriously wrong with this country when we are thankful that someone is unemployed so they can help be a caretaker.

When i was pregnant with our daughter, i had to use up most of my sick and vacation time when i was diagnosed with Pre-ecclampsia before I had her. My company had a short term disability insurance that i opted into (paid into) which helped cover 60% of my income after exhausting my personal / sick / vacation time for a total up to 8 weeks for a cesarean. But after that i had to go back to work. it was hard, my incision was still healing after some complications from the cesarean section, my daughter started night cycling and cluster feeding at night because she didn’t like taking the bottle, and I was completely exhausted at work. That’s not how it should be.

Since our country isn’t stepping up to support our families, we need to take it upon ourselves to support them instead. Our working families help bring this states income and boost the economy, and if we don’t support them, they will leave, or have to stop working to take care of their families in these times of medical need, and we lose that income and that money going back into our economy.”

Christina, New Britain CT