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Healthcare for Flint Kids: Water Crisis Continues

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HEALTHCARE FOR FLINT KIDS

Seven years of the Flint Water Crisis and the poisoning of an entire city. 

Most of the world thinks everything is all fixed here in Flint. I can tell you it is not. For the past seven years, Flint residents have watched our children’s minds and bodies change because of the lead they ingested … before we knew what the government officials did to us to save money. 

In 2013, I had a full house with my children and grandchildren living with me on the northwest side of Flint. As an emergency service employee for the city, I spent 12 to 16 hour days on the job utilizing the water in city buildings to drink, cook and wash my hands.

Then the day came when I noticed rashes and a light-colored film or ash on our bodies after bathing.  We tried extra moisturizing but that didn’t seem to help. I began experiencing hair loss. I began to crave ice, so much that employees from an adjacent department delivered pitchers of ice to my workstation nightly. My hair thinned and fell out so bad that I was reduced to a short, tapered haircut, and I had always had long hair. Tears flowed from my eyes as I watched the change in my look. Could it be stress?   My nerves or my hairdresser?  I didn’t know, so I changed to a salon outside the city limits.  My dentist even noticed a change in my teeth. Previous dental work was decaying notably faster than normal. My gums weakened and my teeth were chipping. The dentist urged me to stop eating ice, but I had just purchased a refrigerator that crushed my ice perfectly.  My children and I all started to develop vision problems and began wearing newly prescribed glasses. Then my mild-mannered son started having behavioral issues at school, my grandchildren were also referred for evaluation.  I was eventually diagnosed with severe anemia.  Of course, I wondered what was happening, but it wasn’t until I noticed discoloration in our water, a heightened sensitivity to the smell and rust residue in my tub that I began to realize a correlation.  

Then came the day when Hamilton Community Health Network stood with other community organizations and Dr. Mona announced their findings. LEAD. Our water was filled with lead. That’s when I had an Aha moment, water…ice….LEAD.  Did they really poison us?  

I was scared and angry imagining what the lead had done to our bodies and how it would affect us for years to come. When lead enters your body, it attacks the brain and can cause loss of memory, vision, cognitive and behavioral problems, and brain damage.

My family had all the affects, in fact our home had one of the highest levels of lead in the city – 26 parts per billion. 15 ppb is allowed. Our friends were all affected. The lead affected thousands of us. It will take generations for us to recover and be healthy again. All of this just to save a few dollars.
 
THE PROBLEM

We worry about our kids and how drinking poisoned water will affect them down the road. Residents still test positive for lead in their bodies. Our children will need access to affordable quality healthcare to help combat all these problems for years to come.

Right now, many of our families on the east side of Flint must walk miles or take several buses to get to healthcare. Some call the area a Healthcare Desert. We just know it is extremely hard to get kids the healthcare they need.

THE SOLUTION

Hamilton Community Health Network, a non-profit organization, wants to build a full-service $3M clinic on the east side of Flint. Hamilton has nearly 40 years in the Flint area with 8 existing clinic locations. Hamilton opened its doors to the Flint community in April of 1982 after the merger of the three hospitals, including the one and only hospital and healthcare resource we had in north Flint that served the lower-income minority residents. 

But just like we need now, people stepped forward and helped. They banned together and created Hamilton Community Health Network. Today, we need to ban together and build a new clinic. One where we can serve the families who are suffering the most. The ones who have been left behind once again. With this new clinic location, families on the east side will no longer be forced to delay care for their little ones and those with chronic conditions will have the ability to receive care close to home.

Will you please help Hamilton build this healthcare clinic? Flint children need this, so they can be treated for all the horrible things the lead did to them. They need the counseling, the medical care, the vision and dental care that Hamilton will be able to provide.

We need this because there is no one else willing to give it to them.

Please donate. Any amount is appreciated.

Help get the word out, be sure to share this on your social media pages and join us on November 30th for a special Giving Tuesday charity event.
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Donations 

  • Paula Anne Newman Casey
    • $200 
    • 1 yr
  • Sherman Edwards
    • $2,000 
    • 2 yrs
  • Stacy Sawyer
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Asa Zuccaro
    • $20 
    • 3 yrs
  • Sidney Moncrief
    • $250 
    • 3 yrs
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Organizer

Clarence Pierce
Organizer
Flint, MI

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