Obama Honors Celiac Disease and Healthcare Reform Advocate Karima Hijane
From May 2010
Something was dreadfully wrong and Karima had a battle on her hands to learn what had turned her life upside down. “I was slowly being destroyed by this unknown illness. I hated the new me – indeed I no longer recognized myself. I was really terrified that I had cancer since my father and oldest brother lost their battle to cancer. I was so worried that I was going to die and not be able to raise my only child,” says Karima.
Having found the real cause of her pain and suffering, Karima recognized that untold others were fighting the same battle, many without success. “ I couldn’t stand the thought that some women don’t even have insurance and these women can’t afford to go from one physician to another and get loads of tests. Some women were denied the care they deserve because of pre-existing conditions. I personally knew that it requires a combination of time, strength, support and money to get diagnosed. It hurts me to find out that young women have been diagnosed with serious health issues that could be preventable. It is not fair and I am a living example of it!”
Motivated to make a difference for those with celiac disease, Karima volunteered her time helping President Obama’s Organizing for America grassroots movement, and advocating on behalf of the recently passed healthcare reform bill.
“We worked tirelessly across the country to gather support for the healthcare bill that became a law. Our work helped enable citizens to take action and show their support for the reform. Our dedication and hard work was a key driver that helped get the necessary votes to pass the healthcare reform law. Some of the things that we did were organizing meetings, phone banks and canvasses. We collected declarations from regular citizens that support the reform. We made millions of calls to Congress requesting their support for the reform and visited their congressional offices.”
As a notable member of Organizing for America, Karima even earned recognition from the President himself for her efforts on behalf of the landmark legislation.
“On the day that I met President Obama, I had the privilege to hand deliver signatures of the more than 1.1 million people who co-signed the healthcare reform petition directly to him. It was a joyful experience!”
Watch Karima’s meeting with President Obama below: