The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., said: "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
Yet, as we watch the first African American be sworn in as President of these UNITED States, this is one inequality that has not be remedied, one injustice that has not been righted.
In this blog, I have shown you instances that illustrate the terribly injust, inequitable suffering that the chronically ill face in America. We have pre-existing conditions and cannot get health insurance. We have medical bills that bankrupt us, as if our diseases were not crippling enough. We face indignities every time an employer looks askance at us when we need to see a doctor, every time a child -- a child -- is placed on "lockdown," and not allowed to use a school bathroom. We battle not only our illnesses, but the lack of understanding, respect, and dignity that we face every single day.
But I believe our time is coming. I believe that Barack Obama means US, TOO when he says YES WE CAN! I believe that tomorrow will be a better day for the chronically ill in American, a day when we are understood, when our pain is everybody's pain, our needs are everybody's needs. For the first time in my audlt life, we are about to swear in a President who has promised to be there for us, and not just for the monied, for the powerful, for the healthy.
It may not happen today, but it is going to happen.
And so, in the words of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, I say to you, my fellow patients, their caregivers, and all who understand that there but for the grace of G-d go us all, today there is reason to Keep Hope Alive. For it is in hope that we must find our inspiration, our salvation, our reason.
For those of you who feel like your sorrows are too great, your burdens are too heavy, your pain too insufferable, I tell you that it is through HOPE that you will be find your way.
Rogers and Hammerstein wrote: "Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone." And that is true. Hold hope in your heart and you will NEVER be alone with your illness ever again.
Barack Obama gives me reason for HOPE. And so, let us hope together that he will help us to fulfill the DREAM of Martin Luther King and right the shocking and inhumane injustice that each of us who are chronically ill in America face.
And until that day that Dr. King's dream is as real for us as it is for African Americans as Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States, we must Keep HOPE Alive. Jennifer