Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for the opportunity to read my letter on an issue that can no longer be overlooked. I am a disabled mother of three ages 23, 15 and 11 who has had my share of struggles just like other families in the United States. I was a former employee of Wal-Mart of almost 13 years before losing my job. I was a full time employee demoted to part time and barely given a 15 hours work week. It was stressing to lose my Long Term Disability and Dental benefits. I fought and sacrificed myself by working nights to provide food, clothes, shelter and an education for my children so that I may tend to their needs by day.
In December of 2009, a day before her 6th birthday, my daughter Lauren Alexandra was diagnosed with an extremely rare auto immune disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. It is an incurable disease that got a fierce hold on my daughter and was pulling her under quickly and mercilessly. Within 2 months’ time, she went from a happy, singing and dancing little girl to being bedridden and in a wheelchair. She did not have the strength to raise her head off her pillow, could no longer walk or sit up on her own due to extreme muscle degeneration. Before this ordeal, I never had any reason to use any FMLA but I had no choice in the matter. My daughter had an extreme medical emergency and she was fighting for her life. I depleted any and all vacation time, sick paid days and FMLA time available. I myself wasn’t feeling well either but I put my health matters on the back burner and went back to work.
Having exhausted my leave benefits and not accruing them fast enough with part time hours, it was difficult to take time off when I became ill. My heath conditions got worse over time and I made a difficult decision in January of 2013. The pain I was living with everyday urged to me to take a Personal Medical Leave so that I may continue the treatment my doctor had me on. I had to return by a certain date or be terminated. Sadly, I wasn’t able to return and perform by Walmart’s said date. My struggle has become almost unbearable since then.
Mr. President, the road has been a long one, the hardship immense, but we are not the only family that has endured similar, if not worst, situations. There are families out there that do not have the options of benefitting from programs like FMLA, Personal Medical Leaves and/or paid sick days. Families that lose what little they have so that they are able to care for their loved ones. President, I come before you to encourage you to support legislation on National Paid Sick Days or Family Medical Leave Insurance program. We, The People, need someone strong and powerful like you to fight for us and help support our critically needed programs.