Madelyne Goes to Washington

2014-06-26 09:02:56 by Holly Pupino, Media Relations Specialist, as posted on the blog.

Not every kid gets such a close-up experience inside the U.S. Capitol. Not every kid gets such a close-up experience inside the U.S. Capitol.

Move over Mr. Smith. Madelyne Williams left her small but powerful mark on Capitol Hill yesterday and today.

Madelyne, 9, of Kent, was Akron Children's representative at the Children's Hospital Association's annual "Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day."

Madelyne and her mother, Wendy McNair, shared their story about Madelyne's premature birth and the many serious health problems she has faced in her short 9 years.These include chronic respiratory problems, cerebral palsy, and more than 30 hospitalizations.

The family depends on government programs like Medicaid to help with mounting medical bills for such essentials as Madelyne's wheelchair, braces and therapies.

"When lawmakers see me, I am just another suit," said Charlie Solley, government relations director for Akron Children's. "But when they get to meet our patient families, they learn first-hand the vital work of our children's hospitals. Madelyne's story is especially compelling as her caregivers at Akron Children's have saved her life on several occasions."

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