Medina woman who became ‘face of health care reform’ reacts

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jun 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-28 15:59:29-04

Medina, OH (WJW) — A big inspiration for President Barack Obama and his affordable health care act was a woman in Medina, Ohio.

At 50-years-old, Natoma Canfield found herself with a critical choice to make: continue to pay escalating health care premiums or be able to eat.

She gave up her insurance.

Two years ago she wrote a letter to President Obama explaining her worst fear… that the cancer she survived would come back.

Within days of that letter and the president’s response, Canfield collapsed at work and was diagnosed with Leukemia.

She was too ill to attend, but her sister and brother were there with President Obama in Washington when he signed the health care bill into law.

Canfield got help through medicare and Medicaid and has since been cured through a bone marrow transplant.

It is that access to health care she believes every American deserves and that this law upheld by the Supreme Court provides.

“I think it’s going to help a lot of people. It’s a good thing,” Canfield told Fox 8 News reporter Stacey Frey immediately after the ruling. “I know a lot of people are frightened by this, (thinking) that it’s going to change their lives. But we didn’t used to have seat belts or car seats. And it saved lives. Sometimes you have to give something a chance.”

While her name became synonymous with the need for health care reform, Canfield has never met or even talked to President Obama, but he has not forgotten her.

As the president addressed the nation shortly after the ruling, he once again shared Canfield’s story.