Meet Patty – a passionate advocate looking to raise awareness around liver disease and make positive change on Capitol Hill for liver patients, specifically in the Latino community. Patty said, “my grandma played a pivotal role in my decision to pursue health advocacy. As a public health professional, I am dedicated to raising awareness around the importance of doing more intentional outreach, education and research with linguistically and ethnically diverse communities to achieve health equity and improve polices that benefit all community members.”
Patty’s grandmother, Paula de la Cruz, was an immigrant from Michoacán, Mexico. She came here hoping to better her life and the lives of her children and future grandchildren. Unfortunately, due to underlying fear and a lack of resources, Paula did not have health insurance and would visit the emergency room when she desperately needed care. It is here that Patty said she witnessed first-hand the discrimination that people of color face. “My grandmother waited long hours for care as others, with health insurance, were prioritized over her. Medical staff didn’t bother to communicate in her language nor did they ask if she could read English.” Due to her inability to receive adequate care, Paula ultimately passed away from liver cancer. Patty said, “Because the health system failed my grandma, I lend my voice because I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
This month, ALF Advocates nationwide will participate in virtual or in-person meetings with Members of Congress to share their personal connections to liver disease – communicating the medical, emotional, and financial burdens liver disease takes on patients and families. There is nothing more powerful than a personal story. People affected by liver disease need better treatments, lower cost prescriptions, protections for living donors, increased public awareness and investment in research – however – none of that will happen without our collective voice. Learn more about the Lend Your Voice Campaign and register on our website. There is no experience required!
In addition to lending her voice, Patty is an active member of ALF’s Associate Board of Young Professionals and regularly volunteers at local NYC events. She said, “my voice is powerful even though I am not the loudest person in the room. What drives me is my desire to share my grandma’s story and advocate for my community. I wish to inspire others to join me.”
Patty, thank you for sharing your story and for lending your voice to those affected by liver disease. Thanks to your help, we can make a real impact on Capitol Hill and change the face of liver disease! To join Patty, please visit our website.
Last updated on August 12th, 2022 at 11:31 am