AKRON, Ohio - An Akron teen who has suffered from cancer for 13 years is taking his atypical childhood story to Capitol Hill to help advocate for change.
Tyler Froats, 19, has suffered from leukemia since he was 6 years old. He's been through chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and still continues treatment twice a week to keep the cancer at bay.
As a result, his medical bills are climbing and Froats is concerned about his future.
“I am a little concerned about moving into adulthood and being able to get insurance with my medical history,” he said in a news release.
In Washington D.C. on July 23 and 24, Froats will represent Akron Children’s Hospital at the eighth annual Children’s Hospital Association’s Family Advocacy Day.
Froats will meet with U.S. senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to share his experience battling leukemia from a young age.
Heather Wuensch, director of community benefits, advocacy and outreach at the Akron Children’s Hospital, said Froat’s testimony will help communicate to lawmakers that maintaining funding for Medicaid and making care more accessible to children will impact the lives of children directly.
Froats and the Akron Children’s Hospital will also advocate for maintaining a strong network of children’s hospitals and improving children’s access to insurance.
“Kids don't ask for things like cancer, diabetes, asthma and other serious problems, but we get them anyway and we need all the support we can get,” Froats said.
Family Advocacy Day brings children’s hospital patients and their families to the Capitol to share personal stories with lawmakers in Washington D.C.
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