Today I had the exciting opportunity to meet with my Congressman one-on-one as a follow-up to the CHD Lobby Day in Washington, DC at the beginning of March. Since Representative Mike Quigley was not available to meet with me personally while I was in DC, his staff offered this meeting while he was in the district. As expected, the meeting was brief (all of about 15 minutes), as the Congressman was going from one meeting to another. But I did get to tell my story, explain why I was there, and ask for his participation in the Congenital Heart Caucus. Rep. Quigley was pleased to hear about my overall health and my love of cycling. (We joked briefly about the challenges of biking in Chicago.) He even congratulated me for taking on the Chicago Half Marathon this summer.
As our meeting came to a close, he mentioned that Robyn, his staff member I met with in DC, had talked to him in advance about my visit and that she spoke highly of me. (Thank you, Robyn!) He also told me that he would be looking into joining the Congenital Heart Caucus and that one of his staff members would be following up with me about this. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed!) Just before I left his office, he thanked me for coming and for my persistence on this issue, and he wished me continued good health. While I suppose it's possible that he was just being politically cordial, I can't help but feel like I made a real difference this morning. I look forward to seeing what happens!