Life at 40
Today is my 40th birthday. Wow. Where did the time go? Don’t worry, there’s no midlife crisis here. While reflective, I’m eager for what is ahead.
It also means that 40 years ago today, Medicaid offered me a lifeline. I was an unplanned pregnancy to a teenage mother. Upon birth, I was immediately transferred to Children’s Hospital of Michigan for emergency care for which Medicaid covered the costs. I encourage you to learn more about my experience and the profound impact that Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Medicaid had on my early life.
Since childhood, I’ve had two chronic conditions: Crohn’s Disease and a mild version of Tourette ’s syndrome. While I don’t uncontrollably bark like a dog or randomly spew curse words, I do have a couple minor tics which probably seem weird to other people. There certainly are days when I’d prefer not dealing with Crohn’s or Tourette’s.
Despite these conditions, I’ve never been one to say, “Woe is me.” I won’t let these conditions be an excuse for what not to do in life; rather, they help to shape my perspective and serve as motivation to achieve greater things for myself and others.
When I go running, the first 10-15 minutes are the hardest. My mind tells me to stop, and my body says, “Why are you doing this?” For me, running is not a natural adrenaline rush. Yet I don’t give in; instead, I push on. And the remainder of each run becomes more exhilarating and yields tangible results.
Whether it’s the two-fifths mark, halfway point, or the final stretch of my run in life, I intend to push on and finish strong. Not just for me, but also for others who aren’t as fortunate. It’s my motivation for being a champion for children’s health.
Matthew Wright is the advocacy and outreach director for the Children’s Hospital Association.