Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Senator Kennedy

While I generally shy away from politics here, today one politician must be mentioned. Whether you are black, white, blue or green; whether you are from the conservative right or liberal left; whether you agreed or disagreed with his politics, Senator Edward Kennedy's death deserves one moment of our attention.

Senator Edward 'Ted' Kennedy died from brain cancer last night at his home in Massachusetts. He was 77 years old. An active senator for 46 years, Kennedy was considered the patriarch of the U.S. Senate by members of both parties. According to NPR, Kennedy was a part of every piece of social legislation passed by the senate since 1962. We're talking civil rights, healthcare, education reform, HIV/AIDS funding, family and medical leave, employee rights, minimum wage, etc... He authored so many articles of legislation, he had a far greater impact on this country than either of his more famous brothers.

Of all that legislation, I'd like to mention a few which may be of interest to my readers. First and foremost, Kennedy was instrumental in the passage of Medicare, the health care program for all disabled Americans, including those of us disabled by mental illness. Speaking of Medicare, Kennedy was instrumental in the decade-long battle to get equal coverage for mental illness under Medicare. Kennedy also had a hand in the WICC program, a program which assures nutrition for low income women and children. Lastly, Kennedy was an early adopter of Title Nine, the program which assured women, like me, equal opportunity and funding for varsity sports. Without Title Nine, my high school may never have started that girl's basketball team--the very team on which I played in it's first year of existence. I had no idea I had Ted Kennedy to thank for my high school and college basketball career. Kennedy's legislative prominence has clearly had a positive impact on my life.

Rest in peace, Ted Kennedy, and rest assured you have left an enviable legacy on the world behind.

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