In election years, it’s often said that your vote is your voice, but for a Sonora woman, she’s found that if you really want a politician’s attention, the best thing to do is to write them a personal letter.
Shelley Muniz has been writing politicians for the last two decades. It all started 25 years ago when Shelley’s son Micah was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. He was 12 years old.
While Micah battled for his life, Shelley and her sons doctor’s battled insurance companies for the care Micah needed to survive.
“Micah’s doctor had a personal conversation with a doctor from the insurance company and he flatly said this kid is going to die, why should we put this money out,” Shelley recalls.
Not taking no for an answer, Shelley took out a loan and borrowed money from family and friends to pay for Micah’s care.
By the time they had raised enough money to afford Micah’s bone marrow transplant, Micah’s condition worsened and he soon passed after the operation.
A librarian by day, Shelley decided to write a book about her experience, which turned her into an activist overnight.
She was soon writing a personal letter to every politician she could about Micah’s story, her family’s struggles, and the importance of health care reform.
“I got in the habit of reaching out because when all of this was going on with Micah I became quite fanatic honestly,” says Shelley.
In 2009, Shelley’s letter came across President Obama. He was touched and sent a hand written letter back thanking her and her family’s fight. Shelley was happy with that response, but last month, she got a phone call from the White House.
“My letter had been chosen by staff members and the President to represent impactful exchanges that happened with the President.”
Whether it’s published in a memoir or special project the White House would not say, but Shelley is not done fighting for health care reform.
“We have a long way to go because I know people are still suffering.”
Copyright 2016 KXTV