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Renee Blanchard's picture

It seems that the end of February has become my new fundraising time for Planned Parenthood. Its time to get out your check books and make a donation of any size to a Planned Parenthood near you. Tomorrow (actually February 29) will be a year since my mother passed away from a sudden stroke in her home in South Florida. It’s been a bittersweet year for sure. Though there is a huge piece of my life missing, I have found new friendships, strengthened old ones, become just a little bit stronger, and began a new wonderful adventure of owning my first business.

Every moment is an opportunity to make good on all the fortunes your life has provided you and your family. And every February 28 is a new day to pass on my family’s overall very good fortune and support to an organization that protects women and families by providing inexpensive preventive healthcare.

Mom had suffered my entire life from health problems that ran the gammit of Addison’s Disease, Cervical Cancer, Thyroid Cancer and two Strokes, among other illnesses. Her illnesses had an effect on me that I am just understanding. I didn’t get the young healthy full of energy mom, I got the hard working single mother and the one I had to watch closely to make sure she wasn’t about to have a seizure or had forgotten to take her steroids. I am oddly comfortable spending a lot of  time in hospitals and developed a humor that gets my through every challenge. Most people know no subject is off limits to my terrible jokes. My mom always made the best out of any situation. She didn’t let her many hospital stays take away her ridiculously loud laugh, awkward jokes and the love of a good glass of scotch. But we are a fortunate family and my mother had great insurance even given how sick she was most of her life. Most families would have gone bankrupt and do not have access to the preventive care we always did. Like most women my age, I too have depended on Planned Parenthood for access to healthcare when I was too poor to afford quality insurance.

So here is my plea. Planned Parenthood is hurting financially all over the country, but the bottom line is this organization is oftentimes the only healthcare available to low income families. Annual exams for women can catch breast, cervical, and uterine cancer and high blood pressure before it becomes a death sentence. It can help young women who are pregnant get the vitamins and knowledge they need to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Planned Parenthood provides free HIV testing to anyone. We need a strong Planned Parenthood as long as we have families who can’t afford healthcare.

Please make a donation of any size to a Planned Parenthood near you or donate to the national organization.

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