A Letter to President Joe Biden

Are you like me? Do your disabilities keep you from benefiting from conventional medical treatment? As you know, my disabilities began with a DPT shot that put my little infant body into a coma, and when I woke up I had CP and dyslexia. Since then, I have had much more success dealing with ongoing health problems by using alternative treatments, since the conventional ones often make me even sicker. The catch is that even though I have health insurance, it does not cover what I need. It covers only what makes me worse.

Yesterday, I mailed a letter to President Biden (cc: all my federal and state elected officials) pointing this out. I think he’s a great president. I support his many efforts to make life better for all Americans and for many people around the world. Now, I hope he will put some of his energy into getting us all the healthcare that we need.

If you have some thoughts on this, please share them with me.

Letter to President Biden

Dear President Biden,

My name is Karen Lynn-Chlup. I am pleased to have supported you throughout the years and to have voted for you in the last election.

I am a disability rights advocate, an inspirational speaker, and the author of The Broken Hoof. In 1979, I won the first Civil Rights case under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This enabled me to go to college. Since then, my victory has opened the doors to higher education for thousands of disabled people across the country.

That being said, I am writing to ask you to continue the wonderful work you are doing to change government policies so that they help all people with disabilities, not only in the workplace, but in healthcare and education alike.

There are not enough laws to protect us. Too often, we are minimalized, taken advantage of, and not taken at our word. We need policies that care for, defend, and secure the needs and choices of individuals with disabilities.

I would not be paralyzed today if a doctor had listened to my mother, seventy years ago, when she told him that I had run a fever after my first DPT shot. He did not listen, I almost died from the second shot, and I have been disabled since then.

It is vital that sound advice replace arbitrary judgments. I know my body’s limitations far better than anyone else does. My understanding should not be overruled or dismissed. It should be taken seriously to help heal not hurt. Refusal to consider integrative medicine for those who are sensitive and cannot eat certain foods or take drugs and herbs is causing people like me to get sicker, not better. Then, I have to pay out of pocket, even though I have insurance, to get treatment elsewhere. Plus, it is making it very difficult to consult with a doctor on getting the appropriate care or vaccination.

I am confident that under your leadership things will continue to improve. If you would like to talk further, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Sincerely yours,

Karen Lynn-Chlup

cc: Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Alex Padilla, Representative Ted Lieu, Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Benjamin Allen, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi

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