This is just one thing I did this morning, which took about 10 minutes. Okay- probably 20, I’m a slow typist.
Here was the reply I received in my email. I omitted personal information to post to this blog, like my address, etc…
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Here is the response I received and a copy of my letter:
Your Letter to the President and Congress
Karen, thanks for taking action on behalf of Petition2Congress. Your messages are on the way.
An individual copy of your letter will be sent to each official:
August 7, 2013
Dear President Obama,
Dear Representative Lowenthal,
Dear Senator Boxer,
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I was diagnosed with scleroderma at age 23 by the Veteran’s Hospital in Madison Wisconsin after having symptoms in the Navy. I am still here because I had access to healthcare and treatment I often had to fight a male-centric healthcare system. The VA has improved the treatment f female veterans exponentially. However, there are many patients who are not getting the proper diagnosis and treatment I was able to receive. This need to change. It starts with research, and we have lots of work to do. You will be hearing more from me at TheMightyTurtle.com & a page I started to introduce the possibility of surviving scleroderma: Unstoppable Me: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unstoppable-Me-Karen-Vasquez/217918321693555
Loma Linda VA is overcrowded, like many VA’s across the country. I recently relocated to be closer to a VA that could help me manage my care in Long Beach, California. Not every patient has the luxury to be able to move where there is not only a great medical facility, but family and friends nearby.
One thing I have learned and has been found in research, is that many diseases have similar symptoms and research of other diseases has led to effective treatment of different diseases. For example, I also have sarcoidosis. I was diagnosed in 2007 after fighting doctors to do further tests to determine my symptoms were not just scleroderma. After my diagnosis of sarcoidosis, I was prescribed Remicade, normally a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. My symptoms are now under control and I appear to be in remission with medication. I also take viagra 4 times a day, which was originally designed for infants with pulmonary arterial hypertension. I was the very first female at the Loma Linda VA to be dispensed Viagra. Getting Viagra did not come without a fight and months of waiting. Many patients do not have time to wait for approval and are dying as a result.
I urge you help. People are dying simply because they lack money and resources.
And now, the formatted letter:
Congress, please support this Petition by directing the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at the National Institutes of Health to expand research related to scleroderma, development and evaluation of new treatments, research on the relationship between scleroderma and secondary conditions including: pulmonary hypertension, gastroparesis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Establishment of family and “childhood-onset” patient registries. Support for the training of new investigators. Direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a scleroderma public awareness campaign highlighting disease symptoms, prevalence, related conditions, and the importance of early diagnosis.
This Petition is very important to patients and family members living with Scleroderma. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this Petition.
Ms. Karen Vasquez
Long Beach, Ca
You can still also have your letters printed and hand-delivered to each official for just $3 each.
Thanks again for taking action, and keep this email for your records.
Also, be sure to visit http://www.petition2congress.com/ for more important action items.
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