Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Obama Gives Shout Out to Melanie Shouse; Local Health Care Activist Succumbed to Cancer Last Week

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 8:35 AM

click to enlarge Melanie Shouse - IMAGE VIA
Melanie Shouse died last Saturday after a four-and-a-half year battle with breast cancer.

Shouse, 41, spent much of her last years fighting for health care reform. When first stricken with cancer, she put off getting treatment because she couldn't afford to pay her insurance policy's $5,000 deducible. Later she found it difficult to get her insurer to pay for procedures that might have saved her life.

Yesterday the Post-Dispatch published a moving obituary recounting Shouse's life and causes -- she also owned an organic meat business, advocated for clean energy and public transportation and volunteered diligently for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

Too late to include in the newspaper's tribute to Shouse yesterday was Obama's speech last night that used her work as an example for others.

From Obama's comments last night at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser:
I got a letter -- I got a note today from one of my staff -- they forwarded it to me -- from a woman in St. Louis who had been part of our campaign, very active, who had passed away from breast cancer.  She didn't have insurance.  She couldn't afford it, so she had put off having the kind of exams that she needed.  And she had fought a tough battle for four years.  All through the campaign she was fighting it, but finally she succumbed to it.  And she insisted she's going to be buried in an Obama t-shirt.  (Laughter.)

But think about this:  She was fighting that whole time not just to get me elected, not even to get herself health insurance, but because she understood that there were others coming behind her who were going to find themselves in the same situation and she didn't want somebody else going through that same thing.  (Applause.)  How can I say to her, "You know what?  We're giving up"?  How can I say to her family, "This is too hard"?  How can Democrats on the Hill say, "This is politically too risky"?  How can Republicans on the Hill say, "We're better off just blocking anything from happening"?
Actually, Mr. President, I believe Shouse was cremated -- not buried -- in her Obama t-shirt.

Read more about Shouse here.

Hat tip to St. Louis Activist Hub.
 

Tags: , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation