CLEVELAND - Natoma Canfield has been riding an emotional rollercoaster the last two weeks; with her through it all has been her older sister Connie Anderson.
Connie watched with pride as the letter her sister wrote about having to drop health insurance because she could no longer afford the premiums caught the President's eye.
"We've always believed in writing and expressing our views but when she wrote the letter she really believed that it would make a difference and it obviously has," Anderson said.
Her joy was balanced by the anguish of seeing her sister hospitalized just days later and diagnosed with leukemia.
She no sooner was coming to grips with that news when she learned that since Natoma couldn't, it would be Connie introducing the President on her behalf.
"All of a sudden the enormity of it just thinks in and you think oh my goodness Ism going to introduce the President of the United States," she said. "And then it shouldn't be me whose doing it, it should be my sister and so that makes you sad too."
She said President Obama helped her with her nerves and thanked her and her sister for letting Natoma's story be told.
It's been a rallying cry for President Obama in the final push for health care reform.
Natoma wrote her letter to the President never thinking he'd see it, she just wanted her voice to be heard in favor of reform.
She wrote that her biggest fear after dropping her health insurance was seeing the home her parents built a half century ago, a home that she now owns, be lost if she all of a sudden became ill.
It is in that home that Connie, Natoma and their two other siblings grew up. With Natoma facing a lengthy medical fight with no insurance that home will likely be taken but at the end of the day that's the least of this family's concerns.
"Love built that house and just because the house wouldn't be around in our family it's still not going to change anything we're a very supportive family," Anderson said.
Copyright 2010 by The E.W. Scripps Co.. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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