Last week, Senator Patty Murray (WA) took to the microphone to give a voice to American families affected by MS and raise awareness for the disease. While remarking on the American debt and fiscal climate, Senator Murray took a moment to remind Americans and federal lawmakers alike that federal policies have direct implications for all American families including those affected by MS facing unexpected costs. Senator Murray knows what this is like because MS is part of her family.
When Senator Murray was 15 years old, her father—a World War II veteran—was diagnosed with MS. After a few years, Senator Murray’s father’s MS progressed to the point where he was unable to continue to work. Suddenly, her stay-at-home mother became not only the caregiver for seven children, but her husband’s caregiver, and the economic backbone of the family. Suddenly, Senator Murray’s mother needed a job, training, and the means to put food on the table for her family. Like many, Senator Murray’s mother needed help from federal programs such as food stamps (now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP) and Veteran’s Affairs (which helped with her father’s medical care).
Senator Murray’s story is not uncommon. But fortunately, for the MS community, Senator Murray is sharing her story, raising awareness about how MS affects the entire family, and urging policymakers to focus on those in need.
Click here to watch Senator Murray’s full speech and hear her own story about living with MS.
Thank you, Senator Murray, for sharing your story and helping raise awareness for MS!