When Rick Hayden visited the US Capitol last week, he went with your well-being in mind, and he took nearly 200 like-minded friends with him to advocate on your behalf! Those friends included several famous faces like the Rollettes dance team, as well as United Spinal chapter presidents from across the nation.
They were all part of the 2017 Roll on Capitol Hill, an annual event hosted by United Spinal that connects disability advocates with our nation’s legislators. The purpose of the event is to give attendees the opportunity to meet with congressional leaders and highlight health, independence, community, and quality of life issues vital to people with spinal cord injury/disease (SCI/D).
United Spinal is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio.
United Spinal representatives and volunteers work diligently year round with their 50-plus chapters, 200 support groups and over 1 million individuals impacted by SCI/D nationwide.
WHY RICK HAYDEN ROLLS FOR YOUR RIGHTS ON CAPITOL HILL
Rick Hayden is president of United Spinal’s Southern California Chapter and a proud advocate for Cure Medical who also attended and financially supported the event.
A prominent and long-time disability rights advocate, Rick spoke directly with legislators and policy makers about issues close to his heart, including a law to provide access to complex rehab technology for people with disabilities.
Rick has been a wheelchair user since 1976 and has worked in mobility for much of his career. Even though he has seen progress over the years, he emphasizes how crucial it is right now to remain vigilant for disability rights.
“We have come so close to getting a complex rehabilitation bill passed and now, post-election, we seem farther away. This affects not only me, but thousands of people who require custom mobility and or seating to maximize their function, independence and potential,” Rick says.
RICK HELPED THE ROLLETTES NAVIGATE CAPITOL HILL
One of the advantages of being a seasoned pro is the ability to pass on your knowledge to a new generation. Rick had that opportunity this year as the Rollettes wheelchair dance team joined him to serve as California advocates in their first time on Capitol Hill.
“It was a privilege to mentor four young ladies from the Rollettes wheelchair dance team. They brought with them an air of youth and a fierce energy. As we moved from one appointment to the next, traveling through our day, they felt more at ease and shared parts of their story that showed great support for Complex Rehabilitation Technology,” Rick shares.
“The Roll on Capitol Hill is a tremendous experience regardless of age or type of disability. It provides the disability community with a voice, in a place where it will be heard. With approximately 250 appointment visits on both the House and Senate, there is no other event that has that profound an impact on disability rights,” Rick continues.
Rollettes founder Chelsie Hill agrees. “We were a lucky group that was able to be guided by Rick Hayden during our Senate and House visits. He not only educated us about everything that was up for legislative review, but he made our time on the Hill a lot of fun too,” she adds.
ONE MAJOR REASON WHY WE ROLL: PROTECTING URINARY HEALTH
A specific issue of concern for United Spinal’s members is urinary health. Catheter Bacteriuria is the most common health care-associated infection worldwide, according to MedStar National Rehabilitation Network.
For example, urethral strictures are a health concern that many people who use catheters are aware and afraid of.
Many people who use intermittent catheters every day don’t realize they may be developing a urethral stricture. Unfortunately, catheter users often don’t know either the signs or symptoms that indicate they may have a urethral stricture.
In the video below, Rick shares his experience with having surgery for urethral strictures, and why he Chooses a Cure!
DEALING WITH STRICTURES – RICK HAYDEN CHOOSES A CURE CATHETER
Rick says, “I’ve had two stricture surgeries. I realized I was getting a stricture when it became more difficult to get the catheter all the way into my bladder.”
“I recently made the change to the Cure brand of catheters,” Rick continues. “The Cure brand has smooth, polished eyelets and there’s no scraping going in.”
To request free samples of the Cure Catheter® or any Cure Medical catheter, click here.
RICK ENCOURAGES YOU TO SPEAK UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS
“As important as the Roll on Capitol Hill is as well as any kind of disability advocacy work, following up with those we met and bringing all of this vital information back to the local chapter is equally as important. Getting chapter members to pick up the torch and carry it forward by contacting their Representative and Senator is critical. It is a movement and a movement requires forward motion. We must all do our part,” he explains.
2017 Roll on Capitol Hill Agenda
- Advocating for improved access to complex rehab technology that our community and wheelchair users rely on to live active and healthy lifestyles.
- Safeguarding the provision of accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities across the country.
- Ensuring people with disabilities and wheelchair users are not barred from entering public accommodations at the federal and state levels.
- Strengthening the provision of home- and community-based services and supports so that individuals can live and participate in their communities.
- Ensuring robust funding for agencies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Labor so that our community’s benefits and services are maintained.
If you’re interested in attending Roll on Capitol Hill next year, you can find out more about becoming a member of United Spinal here, and getting involved with your local chapter. You can also check out the Advocacy Center on their website, which has information on how to contact your elected officials and all kinds of other great info.