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Health Activist Resolutions: Sue Saltmarsh

Today’s Health Activist Resolution Post is written by Sue Saltmarsh, Chief Organizer of http://duh4all.org/

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As a person living with PBC, an autoimmune liver disease for which the only cure is transplant, as well as a writer for Positively Aware, the only national HIV/AIDS treatment journal published by a non-profit AIDS service organization (TPAN in Chicago), I live and work every day with the realities of just how dysfunctional and discriminatory our healthcare system is. That’s why in 2011 I conceived the notion of organizing a massive demonstration on the National Mall demanding single-payer healthcare.

The Demonstration for Universal Healthcare (DUH) was scheduled to take place on October 6, 2012, the permit was acquired, website created (www.duh4all.org), but we failed to rise the $150,000 necessary to fulfill all the rules and requirements of the National Park Service, rent stage, sound, light equipment, and provide travel and lodging for speakers and organizers, so it didn’t happen.

In June of 2012, I almost died from esophageal varices rupturing and since then my energy level and physical stamina have decreased. But I’m not giving up.

Thanks to Donna Marie Ellington, DUH now has a Facebook page, group, and event page, a YouTube channel, and is on Twitter. Interest has grown (almost 4,000 members in the FB group, up from 300-some in just three months), connections have been made with labor unions that support single-payer, and my goal for 2013 is to succeed in bringing DUH to life in Chicago’s Grant Park. At this point, the only thing stopping us is money, but I am hopeful that the unions, organizations dedicated to different diseases, and individuals will be more willing to support DUH now that the election is over.

I am blessed to have a committed core group of “DUH-sters” and I hope that more people will want to be involved in planning, promoting, and executing the event, but I am also determined to use what resources, physical, intellectual, financial, and creative, I have to make this happen. I want 2013 to be a year of momentous progress that will finally result in a national single-payer healthcare system and healthcare justice in the U.S.

Sue Saltmarsh
Chief Organizer

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a great new and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”  — Patanjali

 

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