In an election it’s easy to get bogged down in the party politics, the talking points, the fundraising, the drama, the thrill of the race. It’s easy to get swept away from the urgency of our real life issues, especially on a campaign as fun to work on as Chrissy Holt’s. I’m here to remind everyone why we are running and why Chrissy and other candidates who believe that Health Care is a Human Right must win. They are running to save lives.
At the risk of sounding painfully cheesy, when I met Shian Edwards in 2016, it was a rare and beautiful moment that turned my entire life around. I didn’t know a person could be so pure. During my stay in the Disney College Program, Shian was my roommate and instantly became my favorite person in the world. In a public place surrounded by strangers she would sing High School Musical at the top of her lungs, grab someone from the crowd and start dancing with them. Shian once met a homeless man, brought him to church with her and paid for him to stay in a hotel. She makes friends everywhere she goes and she makes them for life. She makes them better people.
But sometimes, karma doesn’t quite work the way it’s supposed to.
In October, Shian was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 22 years old. Shian supports herself financially and has been working for $9.40 cents an hour from her hospital bed in order to pay her medical bills. Seeing as she’s making less than a livable wage, she’s not even coming close to being able to pay her bills. At just 22 years old, Shian is in severe medical debt— just for having the audacity to want to stay alive. She’s desperately trying to raise money on a GoFundMe. Any donation you can give would be helpful.
No one could have prevented Shian from getting cancer, but our government, with our collective tax dollars, could have and must prevent her from dealing with a crushing financial burden that will put her entire life on hold. Shian will survive this disease, but will she be able to live? We used to stay up all night talking about the TV show we’re going to write and host, the tiny apartment in New York we’re going to live in while we’re struggling artists following our dreams. We don’t know if that will happen anymore.
No one should be punished for needing chemo-therapy. GoFundMe’s shouldn’t be the only option for Shian or the victims of the Vegas Shooting or any other sick or injured person in this country. We need Improved Medicare for All in Maryland. Every second that we stall, lives are being put on hold or snuffed out forever.
Chrissy Holt stands for so much, but most importantly, she has been fighting for universal health care for over 20 years. She is running for office so that she can help fix this broken system. She is tired of politicians not giving our healthcare priority, and being more responsive to insurance company lobbyists than their constituents. I know that she will never settle. In the end of the day, how can a candidate’s platform place any issue above our right to life?
This is more than just a primary election in a state Senate race. This isn’t just so Chrissy can win and have a cool new job. Chrissy already has a job with great insurance benefits. But she fights for everyone else. Everyone like Shian, and everyone in America who is suffering at the hands of insurers and a government that has neglected the needs of its people for too long. I can't trust any other candidate to fight for my life or my friend's.