This has been a busy week for me as I continue to try and get the word out about the importance of Proposal 2, and why Michigan needs to vote 'Yes' on it.
I've been doing plenty of outreach to friends, family, and acquaintances. I've written my fair share of blog posts, I've spoken with multiple media outlets and helped participate in a couple press conferences on the topic as well.
But it's more than just a need to see something positive happen for our state. It's a very personal issue, and the more I meet people around the state who are working just as hard as I am, the more I am touched by not only their dedication, but how much this means to them as well.
As I've said before, my case of Crohn's Disease is significantly more severe than most. While I'm now technically in remission, there's not much more than can be done surgically should my disease flare up again.
That being said, I truthfully do not know that I could personally benefit from an advancement in the research and understanding of my disease should it happen as a result of the passage of Proposal 2 to allow embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.
But that's okay.
What's not okay is the idea that today, tomorrow, this next week somewhere in this state, someone else is going to get the news that will turn their world upside down just like mine was almost 15 years ago.
They'll go through the pain of the disease, the frustration of learning about a disease of which they had probably never heard of, the anguish of discovering there is no known cure, and that as far as the medical community goes treatment is just a giant guessing game. And that's just for those who will share my illness.
There will be others like Laura from Livonia, someone who never got sick, but broke her neck during cheerleading tryouts and now lives her life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down.
Yesterday the two of us did a press conference to announce the release of an ad for the Cure Michigan folks featuring her, and afterward her father was interviewed. I felt my heart break as I heard him say "All I want is my daughter to be able to give me a hug again."
Saying no to Proposal 2 is telling Laura's father that he can't have hope that one day his 19 year-old daughter will be able to wrap her arms around him and show him how much he means to her. Do you want to be that person to say no?
At the very least, Proposal 2 is about hope. It's about taking something that's being thrown away in the trash and turning it into hope. With times like these, and with people like Laura, her father, and the countless others that you know that live with a chronic illness or injury, can't we all use a little hope?
(Yes on Prop 2 yard signs are now available. Email Minda at Cure Michigan for yours today. Picture swiped from photo-genius WizardKitten over at Blogging for Michigan.)