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Congressman Ron Kind (D) Wisconsin of
House Ways and Means Committee
Agrees to become 26th Co-sponsor of HR 678
By Alan Rappaport
Thanks to Becky Grossklaus of Eau Claire, Wisconsin we now have the critical support of Congressman Ron Kind (D), a member of the majority on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ways and Means Health Sub-Committee. Mr. Kind’s support of HR 678 is a significant milestone in our effort to make HR 678 law, as the Ways and Means Committee determines which bills go to the floor of the House to be voted upon. Bills such as ours generally are not considered by W&M until they are favorably considered and reported out by the Health Sub-Committee. Mr. Kind is very respected so we are honored to have his support! Only after favorable consideration by the full W&M Committee will HR 678 ever be sent to the “Floor” of the House for a vote. We need many more Co-sponsors from throughout the country to gain the critical mass needed by our supporters to move the Bill to a successful “Floor” vote.
HDSA supporters who think that they do not have the contacts needed to help gain co-sponsors for HR 678 should be encouraged by the serendipitous process that acquired Mr. Kind as a valuable and special Co-sponsor.
Allan Rappoport, Becky Grossklaus and Congressman Kind
Congressman Kind became a supporter of HR 678 because Becky wanted to do something to help the HD community… and suddenly found herself in the right place at the right time. But, more importantly, she made the leap of faith and courageously tried something that she had never done before. A little background might help you understand. Becky’s father was adopted and was unaware that he had HD until he finally was diagnosed at 70. He died of HD related complications at the age of 82. Becky had married, had children and grandchildren before she learned of her father’s diagnosis, Becky was not very active in HD programs, but she did know Congressman Kind. Her husband is prominent in the community and is the very successful President/CEO of a highly regarded company. They have hosted fund raisers on behalf of Mr. Kind in their home and in fact had hosted one just a day before Becky was contacted.. PLEASE do not stop reading now because you might think that you do not have that type of connection. PLEASE stay with us for at least another paragraph or two.
Now how did HDSA find Becky…or, how could you find your Becky? Simple! One of the San Diego HDSA Advocacy Committee members and his wife were planning a trip to the Eau Claire, Wisconsin area to visit their daughter’s family. He emailed his daughter, who coincidentally happens to work for Becky’s husband’s company, and suggested that the daughter ask around to learn if anyone could gain access to either Mr. Kind or one of his aides during his visit.
The daughter could not think of anyone, but told her boss about HDSA and her father’s request. Her boss suggested that she speak with the President/CEO’s Executive Assistant. The daughter did not know Becky, only knew of Becky’s husband as a result of his employee oriented management style. Soon a very surprised daughter received a message containing Becky’s phone number and email address and instructions for her dad to contact Becky directly. After a few conversations with the father, Becky called Rep. Kind. Becky and the father met Rep. Kind a few days later. Shortly after that meeting, Rep. Kind personally called Becky to emphatically state that, “HR 678 is long past due and I will contact Congressman Filner’s office to become a co-sponsor”.
Someone once wrote something along the line that you are never more than a few calls away from the contact that can get you what you need. Start with a call to anyone and keep on calling until you find your Becky.
And THANK YOU Becky Grossklaus for making the last call in this case that brought us a great co-sponsor!!!