I am a 68-year-old, married mother of a 29-year-old adopted son.

My husband and I have been married nearly 44 years and are college graduates. My husband was a writer, while I was a software development manager for a large defense contractor, designing and developing combat weapon system software for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.

We adopted our infant son after 10 years on a waiting list. Our son came, unknown to us, with life-threatening pneumonia and a life-threatening congenital heart defect requiring open heart surgery at age 2. Though we had employer-sponsored health insurance, the cost of our son’s care was so great that he was granted Medicaid secondary insurance from birth through age 21. When my husband’s employer learned of our son’s medical condition, they stripped him of his medical insurance.

Though our son is very intelligent, some bad lifestyle choices by his birth mother created some learning differences that were not adequately addressed in either public or private school. So, I left my career to homeschool our son from 7th grade through graduation. Five years ago, our son graduated from a state university with academic recognition.

I became disabled in 1999, after two car accidents, neither of which was my fault. Because a number of key medical records had been destroyed by providers, and in spite of my neurologist’s strong statement of disability, my application for Social Security Disability was denied.

My husband lost his job during the severe recession of 2008-2009. Though he is a gifted writer, no one would touch him. Our son was still in college. We lost our income and our health insurance and had to enter the private market, which charged me over $1,000 per month for basic coverage. But since I needed it, to get by, we exhausted most of our savings. Finally after a couple of years, both my husband and I were able to take early Social Security and later to get on Medicare.

After a life of hard work and commitment, fear and insecurity, we finally found our lives beginning to stabilize, but now with the change and privatization of Social Security and Medicare being advanced, and many other policies aimed at other groups, I feel broken and very afraid of the future once again. That is why I march.

Claire and Pumpkin Chris.jpg
Old photo of a woman in a blue dress with chin-length straight black hair and large sunglasses sitting on bales of hay with a baby wearing overalls next to a pumpkin.

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