Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Michelle Ballasiotes' Lobby Day story

From Michelle Ballasiotes, Pediatric Stroke Survivor and Youth Advocate of the Year, 2009:

This is my third year going to Washington DC for Lobby Day and it just keeps getting better and better. There is nothing like seeing your friends from the past years! We got there on Sunday and stepping off the elevator to go to dinner I ran into so many familiar faces: Joe Goldzweig (my favorite funny friend from Illinois), Sarah Anne Voyles (Youth Advocate of the Year for 2007), Sarah Exley (mom of a pediatric stroke survivor from Wisconsin) and others! I went to Lobby Day this year with Amber Boatright and her mom, Brenda Boss. Amber is a stroke survivor too. She had her stroke 3 days before her senior year in high school. We went down to the hotel lobby to meet 2 more mothers of young stroke survivors, Jessica Spear and Erin Grady. Our now very large group all went to dinner together. We got to talk about why we were at Lobby Day and some of the moms asked me questions about their kids, because their kids are all younger than I am. It was a great feeling to know that I was helping someone.

Monday was meeting day. I went to "Your Voice in the Media" and the speaker, Sarah Exley was amazing, as always. I got to help greet people at the door for the Survivor's Luncheon which was fun. I liked hearing the speakers: Sarah Exley again and a 10 year-old boy who had been through many heart surgeries. His speech was good because he feels just like I do. He wants to be treated like a normal kid. Next, I was at the Youth Advocate Training and we got lots of good instruction for Capitol Hill. The best part was it was fun. I give two thumbs up to Sarah Anne Voyles and Lee Storrow for leading the group.

After the youth training, we went to "Hook, Line and Sinker" training. Jessica Spear (this is her first Lobby Day and she is very passionate) went up on stage for a pop quiz on what to do at the Congressional meetings. She did great. I thought the meeting was helpful for what exactly to say on the Hill. We got to break out into our State meetings and go over who goes where and at what time. We also role played a practice meeting. Everyone was crammed full of information after all of the day's meetings!

Tuesday morning finally came. I had a yummy breakfast before I had to go up on stage to get my Youth Advocate of the Year award. I was very nervous at the last second, but my mom said I did fantastic. She is usually honest with me, so I believed her. Very quickly after the breakfast, we had our first meeting on the Hill. It is so enjoyable for me to tell my story, listen to others and amaze the Congressmen with all of the Youth Survivors from Georgia this year. I think we got most of them to do the very important asks. I went to 5 meetings, sometimes the member was there and sometimes we met with their aide. I liked meeting with all of them because I feel like they were listening to us.

Going to Lobby Day is so exciting, emotional and powerful all at once. I feel like I belong and that everyone understands my situation, even though I am a lot younger than most everyone else. I would love to do this forever and ever because I know that together, we can make a difference!

2 comments:

pammi said...

Heart disease is one of the most dangerous disease which takes thousands of life every years all over the world. If we know its symptoms and Treatment for heart disease. We can prevent is to large extent.

Helen Smith said...

God have been very kind to me, despite the hard times he made me go through but now I give him all the praise for relieving my mum of her stroke through the help of an herbal doctor by name Uwadia Amenifo. Helen Smith is my name, and we live in England. My mum was diagnosed of stroke eight months ago, and she was in so many pains as she can’t even walk, go to rest room, or move her body. She even has to excrete in her body most times. I am her only child, and I so much love my mum because my dad died when I was 4 years old. So I grew up in the hands of only my mum without fatherly care. It happened that when she was diagnosed of stroke by our family doctor her condition was still good by then, but in just one month after her diagnoses, her condition became very worst that the doctor then said her stroke is acute and no longer partial. And that it will only take God’s intervention for her to be well again and for her to be able to retain the full use of her brain. So her ailment continues until God intervened before God’s intervention, I have carried her to so many churches for prayers and have traveled very far to look for a cure for her. I Travelled to America to see some doctors if they can help even if its surgery they can carry out on her provided she don’t die, because I really needed her around me. It was in America an Endocrinologist by name Jill Marie Abelseth MD from Albany, NY told me about an herbal doctor who she knows of, that have successfully cured stroke/ human parasites. So she advised me to contact the herbalist, so I contacted him, and explained to him what my mum is going through, so he counseled us and asked few questions about my mum which I told him. So he prepared the herbs, and shipped it to me in England. I gave my mum the herbs just as he has instructed, and just exactly as he said that his herbs will totally cure my mum. His herbs really worked perfectly well, and cured my mum. As I write this testimony my mum is totally cured of her stroke and she has started her normal business as usual. So I want all here to help me thank Doctor Uwadia Amenifo for his great help in helping me cure my mum of her stroke with his herbal medicine. Please if you know of anyone who have stroke or who have one disease or the other and his/her doctor says there’s no cure to that disease please I want that person to contact doctor Uwadia Amenifo, and give him a try. His contacts are Email (doctoruwadiaamenifo@gmail.com) his number is (+2349052015874), Thanks.