Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tax Time

Family Voices Indiana believes in the power of sharing our individual and shared experiences of raising children with disabilities and special health care needs. We know our stories are the stories of families in all areas of our state and the our neighbors and policy makers are strengthened by hearing about the real impact of the programs and services our families need. We share the following from Sarah Riggs Kennedy, Boone County, as a reminder to all our members of the power and importance of sharing our stories:

During this wonderful time of year (note sarcasm) I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all the tax payers out there. I know so many of you grumble about where your tax dollars are going, so I thought I would let you know where some of them went last year.

My 11 year old daughter, Maddie, was born with spina bifida. She was also diagnosed with Autism. Because of these conditions, she receives many services that are paid for through tax dollars through Medicaid. You have paid for countless hours of physical therapy both through the school and through Crossroads Rehabilitation. You have also paid for speech therapy through both of these services. She has improved so much that she will now only be getting speech therapy through school! Thank you for that!!

Not only does Maddie need therapy, but many medications to help with the conditions that go along with spina bifida. She is currently on medications that total over $1000 a month. She also requires supplies for urological care such as catheters and drainage bags for overnight. Just one box of catheters cost $50 and she uses 6 boxes a month. She also uses 4 drainage bags and 30 of the foley catheters that go with them. The catheters cost about $60 a box. We use 3 boxes. The bags cost about $5 per bag. As you can see, we would not be able to afford this stuff without Medicaid.

We also recently got authorized for respite care for Maddie. This is a registered nurse to come and care for Maddie so that Mommy and Daddy can get a break. With Maddie's recent surgery, I have needed this service (and the wonderful Mary!) more than ever just to help me get Maddie on the potty for her bowel maintenance program and to help me get Maddie cleaned up every day. Without this service, I have no idea what I would do!!

So, as you figure your taxes, take a moment to remember that your tax dollars are helping people like Maddie. I hope it takes some of the sting out of the process for you!

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