My Obama story begins when my wife and I attended the Colorado Caucus at our daughter’s middle school and I volunteered to be an Obama delegate to the County, State Assembly, and the State convention. It was the first time since I turned 18 that I got involved in the election process. I have a long medical history of dealing with recurring Leukemia and surviving it has helped me to appreciate the quality of life and the uncertainty that comes with being mortal. Besides a supporting and loving wife and family, I was fortunate to have good medical insurance, which gave me unfettered access to the doctors and treatments necessary to save my life. However, my story of treatment is uncommon because, like Obama’s mother, too many people, including members of my own family, cannot either afford good medical insurance or the prescription co-pays.
During my recovery, I was compelled to make the best use of the time that I had and returned to college to acquire a B.S. in IT Security. Along the way, I quickly learned that college affordability was disappearing with every annual tuition hike and that despite being on disability there was little help from the Pell Grant or any state system. Both my experiences with health and college presented two important factors of life: the right to exist and the ability to achieve my dreams. These factors mirrored the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Hearing Obama speak about the issues regarding healthcare and college affordability led me to read his plan on how to address them. In fairness, I have read the opponents plan and found it lacking.
I am still dealing with multiple health issues because of what cancer treatment does to the body, but I refuse to hang on the crutch of circumstance - this is too important. As a role model to my daughter and a personal promise I made to those who did not make it through cancer treatment, I have taken to the phones and to the neighborhood streets to change the present and the future not only for me but for my daughter, family, and friends, too. Perhaps, in some way, I am also doing it because I know that although I am unique, my story isn’t.