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I don't know how we've yet to see million people march to Washington, demanding health care for all. It's just unimaginable that stories like this one can happen in the richest country in the world.


When Melanie Shouse began feeling ill, eventually finding a lump in her breast, she couldn't afford a doctor. She and her partner had just used their savings to open a business.
A year later, doctors told her she had terminal, stage four breast cancer. She spent the next 4½ years fighting for health care reform that she didn't live to see pass.
Ms. Shouse died Saturday (Jan. 30, 2010) at her home in Overland. She was 41.

...In addition to advocating affordable health care for everyone, she was an activist for clean energy, economic reform and public transportation.

She took the bus to and from her chemotherapy appointments in the Central West End. Then she'd pick up a sign or banner and walk a picket line.

"This was an extraordinary woman, who never gave up hope that she could make a difference," said Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation...

...Using herself as an example, Ms. Shouse said she had put off going to a doctor because her health insurance policy had a $5,000 deductible. She called it "'hit by a bus' kind of insurance."

When the insurance company wouldn't pay for a treatment that Ms. Shouse believed would help her, friends protested at the company.

Insurance officials refused to accept their petition and called police, recalled a friend, Kathy Geldbach. One of the police officers took the petition, "marched up the company's steps and strongly encouraged those men to look at the petition," Geldbach said.

U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut called Ms. Shouse a week ago in a final, unsuccessful effort to get the insurance company to approve the treatment...

...Ms. Shouse requested that her body be cremated wearing her Obama T-shirt.

Friends and family plan a celebration of her life at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman Avenue.

In addition to her partner, among the survivors are her parents, Marianne and Carl Shouse of Prairie Village, Kan.; two sisters, Maria Duda of Tampa, Fla., and Michele Macready of Vancouver, British Columbia; and her grandmother, Kay Holtzman of Overland Park, Kan.

Memorial contributions can be made to Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice, 412 Greenleaf Drive, Kirkwood, Mo. 63122; Susan G. Komen for the Cure, St. Louis affiliate, P.O. Box 790129, Dept. SK, St. Louis, Mo. 63179-0129; or St. Louis Jobs with Justice, 2725 Clifton Street, St. Louis, Mo. 63139.


Here is Melanie talking about health care:


And here's the president talking about Melanie (i hope you can ignore the stupid reaction from some people in the crowed):

May she rest in peace.

Originally posted to blackwaterdog on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:34 AM PST.

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