Government Shutdown May Actually Kill This Mom

1378601_653277861371685_2002650112_nA woman with a rare form of cancer will not be accepted into a new treatment trial. The reason? Due to the government shutdown, the trial is not accepting new patients.

From The Washington Post:

In April 2012, Michelle Langbehn was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects 1 percent of cancer patients in the United States. After nine months of chemotherapy, she and her doctor began looking into other potential treatment options, including a trial at the National Institutes of Health.

Langbehn began filling out the paperwork to apply last month. Things were going well until late September, when she got a call from the NIH: If the government shut down, the trial would not accept new patients.

We’re in week two of the government shutdown. The “shutdown” is infuriating for a variety of reasons; people aren’t getting paid, desperately needed resources are being withheld, national parks are closed (the last may seem to cower in comparison to the former – but do you know how devastating it is to the local economy when a park is shut down?) And now, we know that potential life-saving treatments are being withheld. This is just reprehensible.

These types of trials are often someone’s “last chance” at a treatment option. Most patients sign up for these trials because no other treatment options have worked. Not only are the Republicans in Congress okay with withholding paychecks, seemingly unaffected that WIC resources will soon run dry, and totally content to possibly shutdown Federal courts – at the end of this raging tantrum they’re throwing, they may literally have lives on their hands. Yes, I am calling it a tantrum because it so closely resembles what my toddler does when he doesn’t get his way; become dead weight and refuse to move.

Michelle had this message for Congress:

I want to tell them that lives are at stake. This isn’t just a matter of inconvenience. This is a matter of life or death.ย Iโ€™m not just doing this for myself. There are 200 people that are trying to get into clinical trials each week. I want to speak for all of us.

You can sign Michelle’s Change.org petition to help.

(photo: Facebook)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Jessie

      This disgusts me. I was already pretty disgusted before, but now… Ugh. I don’t even have words.

      And it IS pretty much a tantrum they’re throwing. I read something that described it perfectly a few days ago: “The goverment shut down reminds me of when I would play N64 as a kid and my friend would hit the reset button whenever he would start to lose.”

      • Emmali Lucia

        I had a friend like that once. I think I punched him in the face.

        I don’t deal with people having tantrums well.

    • http://artofolivegreen.wordpress.com Art of Olive Green

      Thanks for sharing this. However, woman’s letter refers to her toddler as male, and baby fashion usually being highly gendered, it appears the pictured child is female. Please caption or replace the photo appropriately, as it’s especially misleading under the headline “…This Mom.”

      • Morganjane

        Where is the child referred to as male? Her petition has the same picture so I’m pretty sure it’s accurate.

      • http://artofolivegreen.wordpress.com Art of Olive Green

        Ha. You’re right. Confused author with subject. It’s possible others could make the same mistake, but it’s not the author’s fault. Careless of me! I’ll get my coat.

    • Nichole

      Last time I checked the house passed a bill to fund the NIH, and Harry Reid (who last time I checked was a dem. in charge of the Senate) refused to pass it or even bring it to the floor for a vote. When a reporter asked him if he would bring it to a vote if it could save just one child his response was: “Why would I do that?” It was a stupid comment that I believe he apologised for, but he still hasn’t put the house bill to a vote. While I understand going in that most of the writers for this site lean so far left I wonder how y’all manage to stay standing, it is frustrating when you insist on placing all the blame on one party when everyone up there deserves it.

      • CMJ

        Sen. Reid actually put a bill to the floor that would fund the entire government at House GOP sequester levels of funding….not just parts of it.

      • Nichole

        I don’t agree with what the GOP did in this circumstance, I believe there are better ways to deal with it, however I also think that Reid’s behavior prior to all this and during it has been horrid. My children have better manners than many of the politicians who are supposedly serving the country. Also during the shutdown 83% of the govt is functioning and that is a conservative estimate. I’ve seen reports as high as 87% and someone found the money to give pbs 400 million dollars the day after the govt shutdown. So I am wondering just who exactly decided that the NIH and other programs that people are upset about (and mostly rightly so) were the ones to be suffer. So while the republicans may have started this, they aren’t the ones who decide who it hurts.

        Also as far as Reid’s bill to fund the govt, he also wants one to raise the debt ceiling pretty much carte-blanche with no spending cuts or control over the current spending what so ever. When Obama was a senator in 2006 he spoke on the floor that raising the debt ceiling was a sign of a failed leader, when he ran in 2008 he said that letting the debt rise to the level that it had was treasonous. Now that he is behind the big desk suddenly we have to give him everything he wants. I don’t agree with the way it was done, but I think that this shutdown is hopefully forcing conversations and changes that need to be made for our country not to implode.

        If this leads to an actual budget being passed and a solution so that we don’t have to do this again in a 6 months or a year so much the better.

      • CMJ

        Approve grants will still flow to organizations.

      • NYBondLady

        Amen. This is not just the fault of one party. Repubs have been passing a la carte funding bills but they are all being shot down by Reid. Dems want to make sure that people are feeling the pain of this shutdown.

    • Zoe Lansing

      To say this angers me would be an understatement.I lost my only sister to cancer and as painful as that was (and always will be),at least I know absolutely everything possible was done to try to save her.I wonder if Cruz,Boehner, and company would be throwing this useless tantrum if Michelle were their wife,daughter or sister?

    • Me

      The republicans? Stop drinking the koolaid… Harry Reid and that ass Obama are killing her. You are an idiot.

      • missiemeghan

        piss off, troll.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      Congress is still getting paid.