Friday, March 22, 2013

A Tale Of Breaking News

Hey it's Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog here with a breaking news story.  Brenda
received some wonderful news today from Allen, the guy she testified with
at the ND State Capitol on March 11th. 

Senate Measure 2190 passed this week.  It was a team effort and they both
helped to get the job done. 

I am so proud of both of you for standing up and being bold on behalf of
others who take biologics.  This was all explained in our last tale. 

I am also proud of the state in which I live in for doing the right thing by this.

I am going to close by sharing Brenda's compelling testimony.  Now, she wants
you to do the same, if this legislation hits your state. 

                                                       This is Trevor signing off. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Legislative Tale

Hello, it's Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog here once again, to share a very exciting
story that recently took place.

I am very honored to share this because I actually got to meet the person she was
working with on this wonderful project.  Allen Todd, who is the Director of Patient
Education and Advocacy with the Global Healthy Living Foundation flew into Bismarck
last Sunday evening.  Now anyone who comes all this way and wants to meet me, well
that just makes me so doggone happy.  So I spent a few minutes with this fella who
really seemed quite okay in my book.  He at least said "Hello Trevor" like I was going to
say anything back....hahaha!

So backing up a bit here first. Seth Ginsberg who is the co-founder and President of
the Global Healthy Living Foundation aka CreakyJoints, contacted Brenda in January
to see if she would be interested in working with Allen on a project regarding her
taking a biologic? 

You see there is a Senate Bill 2190 where if you are taking a biololgic and if you
were somehow switched to a biosimilar, btw they are not out on the market yet, but
you and your doctor would need to be notified by the pharmacy.  This is just being
all put into place, so when the biosimilar is introduced, the patients safety will be at
the forefront.  It seems like common sense to me and I am a dog.

Brenda is very proud that her state of North Dakota wants to do the right thing with
this and thus, that is why she was asked if she would be willing to testify when this
bill hits the House.  Are you kidding?  You should have seen her excitement.  She
started to work on what she would be sharing with her testimony almost immediately. 

Well, she received word from Allen on Tuesday March 5th, that the hearing for the
Bill would be on March 11th, the following Monday and asked if she would be
available to testify?  Now, what do you think?  She asked for the day off and started
the ball rolling.

She really started working on her testimony now.  She sent in the first draft to Allen,
who said it was great.  He helped her put it all together and allowed her to share what
it was like before being put on a biologic and after. 

The one thing he suggested to her was that she practice reading this while looking into
a mirror.  Brenda understood how this would be beneficial, as she would do this while
she was practicing her solos.  The nice thing about this time though was, if she forgot
her words they were right in front of her.  Kind of a humorous story to share along
with that, but we will get to that a bit later.

So on Monday, March 11, 2013, Brenda testified in front of the ND House Human
Services Committee at the State Capitol Building.  Sounds so important now, doesn't
it?  She could just see her Dad beaming with pride.  He was Chief of Police and
this would have meant a lot to him.  Also her sister Bev, who was State Registrar
with the ND State Health Department, would have been proud as well. You see,
they are both gone.  Her Mom would have been so very proud of her little girl for
standing up there and doing what she did.

So the room where she testified was called Fort Union.  It was actually a pretty
small room, which made it less intimidating for Brenda. 

Allen and her had a chance to hear a few of the other testimonies first, so she
would understand how the whole process works.  She found it fascinating! 

Allen testified first as he also takes a biologic for his Type 1 Diabetes, insulin.
This is what was so great about his whole project, working with someone who
understands the ups and downs of living with a chronic disease, but still sees how
important it is, to continue living their lives.

She also wanted to testify on behalf of all of those who are taking a biologic for
various inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

She really saw an excitement in Allen and how he tackled it head on.  It was so
obvious to Brenda, that he truly loves his job.  That is contagious and makes it
all the more enjoyable to be involved in something like that.  I really wished I
could have been there too.

When Brenda got up to testify, she was not even a bit nervous.  She approached this
like getting up and singing a solo.  Now to our funny little glitch that occurred.  She
got through the first page and when she saw the second one, her first thought was, oh
Allen just changed something again, so she started to read, but it really sounded so
familiar.  The reason it did was because it was actually Allen's page and she quickly
turned around and he had another copy ready for her.  She apologized to the committee
and went on as if nothing happened. 

Brenda remembers getting louder and louder as she was reading.  She did the same
thing at her Mom's funeral, as she read her tribute there.  I think she does this, so
she does not start to lose her voice.  They did not ask her any questions after, but
several did come up to her and told her what a great job she did.  It was from a
patient's point of view, so they would obviously be able to relate.

It turns out that the committee chairman was from her neck of the woods, as we say
in North Dakota.  Allen took a picture of Brenda and Chairman Robin Weisz.
                                                     Brenda standing behind the podium

The whole experience was great for Brenda, as she will tell you, getting up
and telling your own story can really be empowering. 

She heard from Seth that day saying that she was the star of the show.  Now wasn't
that so sweet?

She also heard from Allen as he was heading home, that it was clear that she resonated
with the legislators, as she has a powerful story to tell.  You bet she does! 

Brenda's advice to anyone.  If you have a chance to share your story, I highly
encourage you to do so, as it can be so empowering!

She wants to again thank the Global Healthy Living Foundation for contacting her
to be involved in this great project.  Here is the link, so you can check them out.

 http://www.ghlf.org/

This is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, wishing you all good health!