Welcome to the 100th Post on the Jamie Blog!!! Thank you all for following Jamie's (and our) story over these past few months. We are lucky to have been joined on this journey by all of our friends and family, both new and old. We've been through a lot and there's a long road ahead of us, so I hope you all don't go anywhere!
Now that that's said, there are many things that we'll need to cover in the next few posts (Jamie's new prosthetic legs; creating The Jamie Group, Inc. and our application for 501(c)(3) status; fundraising events in Austin (11/12) and in Dallas (11/7); Jamie getting back into school; the Happy Hookers tailgaters donating the proceeds from the Texas Tech game to Jamie; Jamie generally being awesome...) and I'm happy to say that Jamie will be helping me write blog posts in the future. However, this post is all about our latest trip to the state capitol for the (honorary) signing of the Jamie Schanbaum Act by Governor Rick Perry.
At 4:45, Gov. Perry came into his public reception room, where Jamie, me, KC, Roni, mom and Papa Gene were waiting. Before going forward, I should list some of the other attendees that helped make the law a reality, including: (1) Maureen Moore, who, along with Anna Dragsbaeck are part of the Houston Immunization Group that helped and pushed us to get this bill passed. Sometimes, I feel like Anna/Maureen and Mom/me are in a competition to see who can thank the other ones the most. (2) Joan Vasbinder, who also testified before the higher education committee along with mom, me and Anna Dragsbaeck; she lost her son to meningitis three years ago. (3) Sen. Wendy Davis, who authored Senate Bill 819, which is the original version of the law before it stalled in the house before being attached to a related house bill. (4) Louie Sanchez, who will soon be Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.'s chief of staff. Sen. Lucio is the man who helped us get in touch with Sen. Davis in the first place; mom knows him from back in Brownsville where she was queen. Louie was there on behalf of the Senator, who wasn't able to attend, but he's been so helpful on his own that we'd have wanted him in the picture anyway. (5) Rep. Donna Howard: She sponsored SB 819 in the house, where it unfortunately stalled and nearly died due to politics related to the voter ID laws, until...(6) Rep. Patrick Rose: who, along with being a former law school classmate of mine, is the Representative that amended one of his similarly themed bills to include the meningitis immunization legislation... and THAT is how a law is made!
So, anyway, Rick Perry came into the reception room to meet all the people who helped make this bill a reality, but if you ask me, he came to talk to Jamie. He probably talked with us for 10 minutes but it simultaneously felt like a brief moment and an eternity. He mentioned that he saw Jamie's recent story in the Daily Texan (which I CAN'T believe I've failed to mention so far...). Jamie commented on the Governor's tie, which was red with flying elephants on it. He said he thought it looked pretty cool. We agreed. Then, after the signing was over and we all took pictures and smiled for the KEYE cameras that were there (more on that below), he talked to Jamie some more, this time on a more serious note: he talked about the importance of giving back to your community. Jamie told him that she wanted to help people overcome their disabilities... thanks to people like Bob and Kerri, she feels strongly that helping people is in her future... Gov. Perry focused on this when he talked with us, and he reminded us that he didn't always know he wanted to get into politics, but he found his calling: giving back to the community that gave so much to him... so here he is. Anyway, like we said, a very, very wonderful day.
Finally, its definitely worth noting that mom was able to convince the folks at the capitol to allow the KEYE cameras to film the signing... then mom and Jamie had another interview, this time on a much happier note than before. Click HERE to see the video and article on the KEYE website.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the Jamie Schanbaum Act a law in Texas. We're glad that so many people will be able to benefit from our situation. Thanks again to everyone who has followed our story from Seton to St. Joseph to St. David's to the capitol. We love you all.