President Barack Obama talks with Natoma Canfield, right, and her sister, Connie Anderson, in the Oval Office, Dec. 12, 2012. The letter Canfield sent the President in 2010 hangs on the wall in the background. (Official White House Photo …
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Calling it a "fairy tale trip" Medina's Natoma Canfield boarded a plane Wednesday night to return home to northeast Ohio still flying high from her meeting with President Barack Obama earlier in the day at the White House.
"He spent so much time with us. He made us feel so at ease," said Canfield, who was joined by her sister Connie Anderson for the Oval Office visit. Canfield got to see the letter she wrote the president in 2010 hanging on his wall.
"My little humble letter at my little computer I typed," Canfield said she thought when she first saw it. "I just was blown away."
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the president’s health care law in June, the president in his address to the nation said his source of inspiration in the lengthy fight was that letter.
A cancer survivor, Canfield wrote the president that she could no longer afford her skyrocketing health care premiums. Forced to drop her insurance, she wrote how she lived in fear of getting sick and losing the family home she grew up in.
The president read that letter to insurance company executives at the White House as an example of the daily struggle faced by those with pre-existing conditions. Just a week later though, Canfield collapsed and rushed to the hospital where she was later diagnosed with leukemia.
Her plight became a rallying cry for the administration and when the Health Care Reform Act was signed into law Canfield was too sick to attend the White House bill signing, but her sister and brother went in her place.
Canfield finally met the president in July during a campaign stop in Parma, where the White House invitation was first extended. It was made official earlier this week when Canfield got the invitation to attend Wednesday's White House Christmas party.
"Everyone was dressed so nicely, you just don't see that anymore," said Canfield. "And the decorations, oh my goodness."
Since the president was kind enough to invite her to see her letter, Canfield and her sister extended the invitation for Mr. Obama to see his letter hanging on Canfield's wall in Medina.
"He laughed," said Canfield. "I don't think he has any intentions of coming to see his."
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