Hello from DC!

Well I made it to Washington, D.C. today and through the first day of the Arthritis Advocacy Summit. Most of the day was spent traveling though, so I am really exhausted (I only got about three hours of sleep last night, which didn’t help). I made it in time for the group dinner and first advocacy training which outlined our agenda for the rest of the summit and especially our Senate and House meetings on Capitol Hill. Tomorrow are the Senate meetings. This morning and during my flights I was feeling kind of anxious and nervous about participating in the summit – not knowing what to expect, I suppose. But after meeting up with my friend Trish (who works for the Arthritis Foundation’s Upper Midwest Region chapter and is our group leader) and then meeting the other people in our group, I feel much more comfortable and excited about being here. Listening to other leaders speak about what we’ll be doing on Capitol Hill was also really inspiring. So yes, I am VERY GLAD I decided to do this! I’m excited to see how the meetings go tomorrow and to just be on Capitol Hill and being a part of our governmental process. I hope I’ll be able to pull myself together and sound halfway intelligent when I have to speak to the legislators to tell them about my passion for arthritis advocacy and about my own personal story of how arthritis affects my life. I think I can do it though.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a little update on Day 1 of the summit. I’ve already met some really nice people from all over the country who all have incredible arthritis stories of their own. And I’m quite impressed with the event so far. I’ll try to update every day while I’m in D.C., but now I must collapse into bed.





3 thoughts on “Hello from DC!

  1. I’m glad you are having fun Angela! Don’t be nervous when talking to the legislators or their HLA’s. Everyone is very nice and willing to listen. Last year just my presence as a thirty something with RA made a huge impact on them. You don’t have to say much, just your story which you already know and then pick one of the goals to talk about. Last year I talked about funding for NIH since research is a passion of mine. What are the goals for this year’s conference? Wish I were there!

  2. Hi Stacey!
    Thank you for your comment. Yes, I’ve been having a great time and I’ve been incredibly impressed, inspired and motivated since coming here. I think I’ve been bitten by the “DC bug.” There is a new bill that the Foundation is working on trying to get supported and passed – PATA (Patients’ Access to Treatments Act, H.R. 4209). We’re also pushing for support in research (NIH funding) and prevention (CDC). Access to care is my top priority, which the bill addresses regarding ending insurance discrimination and high specialty tier costs for prescriptions.

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