For patients and families, a way to make a difference

It was an honor to have my daughter, husband, and me asked to represent such a great hospital like Boston Children’s Hospital.

Family Advocacy Day was an amazing and life-changing event. I never thought that one person or one family could actually have an effect on the issues surrounding health care for children all over the country. But one person can truly make a difference. Having a child/teen or parent talk about their experiences with health care has so much more impact on our elected officials than having them read about a bill on a piece of paper.

I think this year your visits are even more important with so many cuts having taken place and even more looming. Your voice is so important and this visit may be one of the few times that the Senators and Representatives hear from patients and families. Every child has a story and it is great that they get to be heard by our elected officials.

The team from Boston Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Association will have you very prepared for your meetings. You will be more than ready for your meetings because they will make sure you feel comfortable before you head to Capitol Hill.

The trip is not all business. There is a lot of fun too! On the first night, there is a dinner/party for all the participants and it is so much fun. Each year there is a different theme and you will get to meet the other advocates and their families. There is some sightseeing, games and other fun things to do and the best part is meeting new friends.

If there is one outing I would highly recommend, it is the night tour of the Monuments. It is something so special to see D.C. at night. There is so much to do in your free time! If you have never been to D.C. it is a great city.

And as Leanna said, wear comfortable sneakers as there could be a lot of walking and bring your “dress” shoes and change into them for your meetings.

We wish we could see you all shine in D.C. Thanks for carrying on the privilege of representing Boston Children’s Hospital and children everywhere at Family Advocacy Day 2013.

Good luck and have fun, too.

~ Terri

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