To: David Lifferth,
Subject: SB164: Healthy Utah
Date: Thu Feb 26 20:31:50 MST 2015
Dear Representative,

Thank you for your courageous and compassionate consideration to vote "YES" today on SB164: Healthy Utah! We, your constituents, are truly pleased to know that many of our family, friends and neighbors might now be able to receive the health care they greatly need. 

My niece, Amy G., became ill a few years ago. She did not go to the doctor at the first sign of illness because she had no health insurance.  I offered to help pay her medical expenses, but she refused, saying she didn't know how she would pay me back.

A year or more went by. Her legs and stomach began to swell with fluids and other serious symptoms began to appear. She was frightened for herself and for her children. She is a single mother (widow) with three sons. 

By the time my niece went to the ER, she was diagnosed with Stage IV cirrhosis. She had developed a rare type of liver disease that had been spreading throughout her liver for years. Perhaps, if she had been able to afford health insurance, this terrible disease might have been stopped at an earlier stage.

My niece is now in need of a liver transplant. Because of the low percentage of people donating organs, my niece may never get the transplant she needs in time to save her life. Transplants from live donors are very risky, with the donor often bleeding out. After much time and paperwork, my niece now receives disability Medicaid and modest social security benefits. 

I'm sharing this experience my family has endured so that you may know how your decision today may save the lives of many people. You may never meet them, we may never know how many people's health will be improved. But I assure you, if you vote YES on SB164 today, you will have made a significant difference in the lives of many. 

My sincere thanks,

Nancy Valdez

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