This is incredibly fucked.
In April 2012, days after her daughter was born, Michelle Langbehn was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affects about one percent of U.S. cancer patients. Because of critical cuts to funding due to the government shutdown, Langbehn and 200 people like her will be unable to participate in a clinical trial that provides an option in cases where more well-established treatment protocols have failed.
From the Washington Post:
After nine months of chemotherapy, she and her doctor began looking into other potential treatment options, including a trial at the National Institutes of Health. Langbehn began filling out the paperwork to apply last month. Things were going well until late September, when she got a call from the NIH: If the government shut down, the trial would not accept new patients. Now, she is among an estimated 200 patients turned away each week from clinical trials there. Langbehn has started a petition asking the government to re-open the treatment option.
“This was not supposed to happen. Nobody wanted the shutdown to happen," says Langbehn. "If I had a message, it would be that lives are at stake.”
This is beyond unacceptable, and the most heartbreaking thing is that we're only going to hear more of these stories as the shutdown lurches on. Republicans in Congress, get your fucking act together.
Photo via Natural Grace Photography, via Facebook