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Advocating for children’s health: Family Advocacy Day 2018

Last month, Children’s Minnesota participated in the Children’s Hospital Association Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Day. Joining over fifty families from across the country, Shelby and Joe Tietel along with their superstars Charlie and Mya, took to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation and talk about the importance of Medicaid funding to kids.

“We were able to talk with them about the concerns we have regarding Medicaid and the importance that it holds for children with complex medical needs and their families. Sometimes it feels like a full time job to keep up, on top of raising a medically complex child, while many of us are working full-time jobs as well,” said Shelby. “They listened and responded, ‘What do you need from me; how can I make it better?’ Those are words that to a parent of a complex child hold so much value.”

From first plane rides, parties, and sightseeing in Washington, D.C., the kids and families managed to have a little fun in addition to all their hard work advocating for children’s health. Charlie’s favorite was the “BIG airplane” and dinosaur skeleton in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.  Not to mention playing super heroes with Children’s Minnesota C.E.O. Dr. Marc Gorelick.  Mya loved the party at the hotel and the chance to see Wonder Woman!

But the real heroes of the day were the patients, siblings, and families that shared their stories and advocated for a stronger and better health system for kids.

Here are a few pictures of our lobbyists in training and their time in our nation’s capitol! And through all the hard work, they even managed to have a little fun too.

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Rachel Patterson