Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I Know the Answer to This.

The proverbial cardboard box in an alley, that's what.   But they didn't ask me that question.

Inside her Avondale, Chester County, home, Lisa Lightner effortlessly pivots from a conversation about Medicaid to opening the door for a milkman to feeding her son, Kevin, 10. In a moment she looks away, Kevin pushes a small bowl of macaroni off the tray of his specialized wheelchair. Now, Mom is cleaning up his mostly uneaten dinner from the floor.  
Three friends who live with the same struggle -- running a household and caring for a disabled child -- sit nearby and each testify to Lightner's unique ability to juggle tasks. 
"She's unbelievable," one friend, Lynn Thomas Guidetti, says. "I don't know how she does it."
Guidetti is referring to how Lightner also writes an advocacy blog about special needs children and volunteers as a Democratic committeewoman in Chester County.
Lightner then puts into words what she and her friends, Guidetti, Susan Rzucidlo and Laura Boyer, now confront more than ever.
"What will happen to him after I'm gone? This is something I ask myself all the time."
Her son lives with severe forms of epilepsy and intellectual disability. He will depend on his mother and father for the rest of his life. 
"Why is all this being done on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens?" Lightner asked. 
She and the other women have vowed to fight any legislation that would decrease Medicaid's ability to those most vulnerable Americans. All see the federal program as greatly improving their children's lives.
"All budgets reflect values and if you’re cutting Medicaid, what do you really value?” Rzucidlo said.

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