Your secret weapon in the health care fight

You have a secret weapon in the health care fight, both now that your Representatives and Senators are in recess and once they get back to Washington DC. You may not know it yet, but this weapon is yours any time you need it from now until September 21.

I am sick and tired. Literally. I am sick, and I am tired. I am sick not only with kidney failure but with watching these damnable corporate-funded thugs called teabaggers disrupt townhall meetings to try to stop their corporate masters from having to deal with honest competition.

But more than that, I am sick of watching American after American die - 60 every day this year - because of not having any health care. I am sick of watching families lose everything they have worked for. I am sick and tired of this whole for-profit health care system, and I'm going to do everything in my power to get rid of it. Including what I thought I would never do. So here is your secret weapon... Go back to my diary of a couple of months ago, This is what losing your kidneys looks like. Did you see it, and feel a bit of shock and horror at the pictures? Did you just see it now, and feel the same? Do you think a middle-aged woman standing up in a townhall meeting to speak on your Congressional Representative's side or going face-to-face with your healthcare-opponent Representative would give many - maybe most - pause if she pulled up her shirt a little way and stretched out her catheter to its full length?

I am very VERY shy about exposing my catheter. (Just ask my partner.) But this is a war, and I am a weapon in that war. My story is one that exemplifies the need for health care reform, and the cost of not getting health care reform - both a financial cost and a human one.

I must give this my all. I must give this my all; I can do nothing less. If I can stop a person in the future from losing his or her kidney function due to lack of health care, I must do it. If I can help to keep a family in their home due to helping win health care for them that keeps them out of bankruptcy when a catastrophic illness strikes, I must do it. This is not just the fight of Teddy Kennedy's life; it's the fight of mine, literally. I want winning this to be a part of my personal legacy; I will leave no children of my body on this earth behind me, but perhaps I can help give life and health to all the others.

So here it is. I don't have a lot of money. I don't have a lot of time before school starts back up. I'll be at Netroots Nation and after that, I'm available for meetings and townhalls until the morning of September 21, when I have school again. If you bring me to where you need me to be - pick me up and haul me, arrange for rides, get me a plane ticket (I can't take the train or a bus because I need to dialyze), and set me up with a place to crash where I can use my dialysis machine, I will be there, and I will be your advocate. I will use my condition and my story to the best effect that I can, to make the case for health care reform. In fact, if I can get to the March on Washington somehow, I'll do the same thing there, on the podium if I can. On camera, if I can. Let me shake the nation the way I shook Ed Schultz Friday night.

I'm yours. I'm your secret weapon. We have a month. Let's do this thing.

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