The following account was written by Donna Smith, a community organizer for National Nurses United, and originally posted on This story demonstrates the callousness of a healthcare system that would even victimize the family of a man who saves lives for a living.

While flying through Salt Lake City this week, I sat next to a firefighter’s wife.  She is a teacher.  They live in Utah where they are the parents of six children.  Michelle’s firefighter-husband works four jobs in order to support his family.  She was on her way to help her daughter who has a six-month-old baby pack up her apartment to go to Okinawa, Japan with her U.S. military member son-in-law.  This is a remarkable family giving their all to one another, to their community and to their nation.

But there is one way in which this terrific family is not remarkable.  They cannot afford the care their son with muscular dystrophy needs – even though they pay hundreds every month for healthcare coverage.

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