Rae of Knoxville, TN

Rae of Knoxville, TN writes:

Hello, I have lived in Knoxville for 2.5 years. I’m a Montessori teacher for 7th and 8th grades, teaching math and science. While I haven’t lived in Knoxville for very long yet, I hope to stay here for a long time. I love the community and stability that I’ve found in here.


I got sick when I was 17 with a rare auto-immune disease that attacked my kidneys and lungs. After the disease was in remission, my lungs slowly healed on their own, but my kidneys continued to lose steam. At 19, I started dialysis and then received a kidney transplant. I have been managing that care for the last sixteen years. I have always been tied to health insurance as an adult. This has meant my choices in life—employment, relationships, housing, travel, etc.–have always been tied to my need for health insurance. As frustrating as it is at times for me to admit it, I am nothing without health care and health insurance, so that becomes the top priority at all costs.

I am here today because of the access to health care that I’ve had throughout my adult life, because of the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance I get through the marketplace.


There are many people who aren’t here today to tell their story, due to the corporate greed rampant in our health care system, especially before the ACA. I’m not saying the law is perfect. I’m saying that we are living in a time where more americans than ever before are benefitting from preventative health care that will result in long term increase in the quality and longevity of life. I’m saying that those of us with chronic health conditions deserve security just like everyone else.


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