MEDINA, Ohio - There is no one person more closely associated with President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act than Medina's Natoma Canfield.
Canfield wrote Obama in December 2009 after she dropped her health insurance because of skyrocketing premiums related to her being a cancer survivor. She told the president she lived in fear of getting sick and losing her childhood home.
The president not only read the letter. He took it into a meeting of insurance company executives at the White House and read it to them.
He no sooner thrust the Medina woman into the national spotlight when a week later Canfield collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with leukemia.
"I always say a writer could not write this story. No one would believe it," Canfield recalled Monday.
The president would use her story to get his health care plan passed. With Natoma too sick to attend the bill's signing into law her sister, Connie Anderson, stood behind the president in her place.
Looking back, on the eve of Obamacare going into effect, Canfield said it's all hard to believe.
"What a long journey and what a struggle, kind of like my illness," she said.
As for her health, Canfield said her leukemia is in remission.
"I like to think I'm doing well. I have my good days and bad days, but all I'm doing alright."
As Congress fights to delay the individual mandate, Canfield said she hopes it's allowed to go forward.
"I think it's wrong. I think it has so many good things to offer it should be given a chance."
Her sister agreed.
"I just would like everyone to give it a chance before they kill it. Everybody is so opinionated, but unfortunately, they don't have any basis for that because it hasn't even come into effect yet," said Anderson.
"I'm sure there's probably a lot of bad things, but there's so many good things," she said. "I don't know… if it's going to work or if it's going to work the way they want it to work or people expect it to work but you got to give it a chance first."