While I was driving between Montana towns today, I began thinking about the many patients whose stories stir up feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness, but above all -- hope. Kati Wetch, in Billings, who lives with pain and has undergone many procedures and still, she smiles. David Lewis, a veteran, who has a quiet demeanor about him but has a strong presence and whose story about being sprayed with Agent Orange during the Vietnam War is heartbreaking, and still, he pushes forward every single day. Katie Mazurek, mother, wife, lawyer - struggling with cancer and the pain she has undergone to fight it, remembering her statement about how she should not be persecuted for being a sick person. I remember watching Tayln Lang speak and how, when he speaks, everyone listens, because of his poignant and graceful words spoken as a patient and veteran that make you feel something.
Sometimes tragedy and trauma bring people together because they have something to believe in and fight for. When we are at our lowest, we are reminded that we are all part of the same human struggle, and we all deserve the same thing -- that we all deserve to live with dignity.
I could continue to name Montanans and tell you a bit about their life because they have bravely spoken out. Every time someone else comes forward and tells their story, it is one more story that might tip the scale for a voter that is unsure about I-182.
Stories are so important because they allow people to step into the shoes of the person sharing and they allow people to be brave for each other. By sharing, you empower another person to stand up and share their story - kind of like a domino effect, except this time, people are not falling, but they are rising.
Will you rise?
Are you in it to win it? Are you in this to make sure that Montanans vote YES on I-182 this November?
I know you have been asked before to act but I am going to ask you again. This time, I want you to dig deep and make a conscious decision to stick this out until we see this through. If you're reading this, then you care about making sure that I-182 passes and you care about making sure that yourself or the patients you know have safe and legal access to their medicine.
I'm asking you to light your fire and to keep that fire burning until Election Day.
I'm asking you to sign up to volunteer and I am asking you to activate as a supporter of I-182. I am asking you to give $5 or whatever you can, and I am asking you to ask your family, friends, co-workers and people you know to do the same.
Over 42,000 Montanans signed their names to put I-182 on the ballot. There are over 12,000 patients depending on us to get this done.
So, will you say silent? Will you remain idle? Or - will you step up and activate?
Let's make sure that we are all celebrating come November 9th because we worked hard together to make sure that the patients, our fellow Montanans, are not forgotten and that no one is left behind.
Onwards, friends, onwards,