Last week I ran into my friend, Marie, Ashley’s mom. Marie and Ashley’s story is so inspirational I wanted to share it with you.
When Ashley was nine years old, Marie got cancer. Because Marie had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. With no way to pay for her health care, they had to file for bankruptcy -- and that's when 9-year-old Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.
As Barack Obama told the story in 2008, Ashley knew that food was expensive, and so she convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat. She did this for a year until her mom got better. Marie says no child at that age should have to make that kind of sacrifice.
More than a decade later, Ashley volunteered to help Barack Obama win his election in 2008. She said she joined Obama’s campaign to help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too. It was clear to Ashley then, and is clear today, that fixing our health care system is essential.
It is essential to help the millions of families bankrupted by health care costs -- and to help the many more who can not regain their health because it costs too much. President Obama is committed to doing that. He understands the plight of those who can’t get health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, can’t afford insurance because they have lost their jobs, and can’t afford the cost of the health care they need to stay alive. President Obama understands we can not go backwards on this. We must go forward to make health care accessible and affordable for all.
After telling her personal story, Marie went on to talk about her personal commitment to re-elect President Obama. “We are the ones to decide our future,” she said. “We will decide what America will be like.”
President Obama was the first one, after so many tries, to pass significant health care reform. He understands why it’s needed to help people like Marie and her daughter Ashley. And now we need to help him. “We must work together,” Marie said, or risk losing our freedoms and the progress we have made.
Marie is right. We must work together. We must re-elect President Obama, a President who understands the needs of Americans.