Friday, March 27, 2015

Fighting For The Cause

I have never been to Washington DC before…so when the opportunity arose to do some lobbying for more research funding, I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t real excited to talk in front of congress men and women because let’s face it….I can barely remember what I said 2 hours ago let alone try and remember what bills need to be passed in order to increase funding to the N.I.H. But I figured me being the thespian that I am was, I could surely memorize some lines that would communicate our needs for more research.
My nephew Kevin who happens to live downtown DC picked me up from the airport and took me on a casual site seeing tour which consisted of the White House and the Washington monument. I was a little surprised at the fact that there were airplanes flying so close to the White House….not alarmingly close but close nonetheless. You would think that after 911 there would have been stricter airspace policies put in place. But I absolutely loved the vibe of this city….busy during the day a lot calmer at night. Easy to get around and some really great restaurants all over the town. I can see why he lives there.
Anyway…The Lupus Research institute flew us out there to lobby with them along with other organizations around the country.  They trained us in the legislation bills and also showed us what else was happening in their world. They orchestrated times for us to meet with the Congress men and women from our own states. I found it a bit frightening at first but I seemed to calm down after the first visit where I didn’t say much. After that I realized that it was just a conversation and anyone we were going to talk with was already going to know what bills we were talking about and surely knew more about them then we would on any given day. But what they were clueless on was …what Lupus really is and how it effects patients and family’s that live with it. That’s where I stepped in. This is a subject I could speak on that was close to my heart. So now they could see why these bills were so important to pass. We shall see if they were paying attention or not soon.
My favorite moment was my picture with Congress woman Candice Miller. She walked in while we were talking with her Legislative Aide. I was a little awe struck but I couldn’t let this moment pass me by without a picture.
 Congress Woman Candice Miller and I 
Marquita and I with Senator Gary Peters
Theres always time for a Selfie

Cool Sculpter in the Capital
Capitol under construction
The magnificent Executive building
The White House

Inside the dome

Not sure who these guys are but they looked important : )