I don't even know what to say....I just met, hugged, kissed, shook hands with and talked with the President of the
I can’t really wrap my head around it yet… It’s so amazing, and surreal… I don’t know where to begin!
If you think about it, in the entire history of our country, only 44 men have ever been President! So, to be in the company of one of them, especially a current sitting president, is not only rare, but is really a remarkable piece of history too!
It was an incredible experience that I will hold onto for the rest of my life…
I know so many people are waiting and very excited to hear the story of the day, so here it is!
This morning, my mom and I left our house at to arrive to the rally that would begin around at the
Event Center . Fort Myers Florida
Here we are, all ready to go!
I had spent the past 3 days putting together a special binder with a lot of information to give the President. In it contained letters, publications, research studies, medical abstracts, my story, before and after pictures, etc...
Me and my binder
As we approached downtown
we noticed many streets had already been closed off completely in anticipation
of President’s arrival. I have never seen so many police cars in my life! Hundreds,
if not thousands, of people were lined up just to watch President Obama’s
motorcade drive through town, some of these people had stayed there all night
just to be a part of this history!
I met up with Mabel, one of the Obama staffers helping coordinate the rally, and we then procceded to go through security- which was very heightened and similar to airport security. There were secret service people everywhere! It was like a scene from a movie!
Me and Mabel :)
Mom and I were brought over to a special section to sit in, while we waited to meet and take photos with the President! SO exciting!
As we were waiting, we had the privilege of meeting some really nice people. It never ceases to amaze me how everyone has their own story. This is one special boy named Johnny and he is a survivor too. He had open heart surgery at a very young age that saved his life!
Me and Johnny
So we are in this nice conference room and we were told that the plan was for President Obama to arrive and first he would come and spend time taking photos and talking with us and then after everyone had taken a photo, we would all proceed to the auditorium to listen to the President speak.
So, we are waiting for President Obama when all of a sudden we hear the national anthem start playing in the auditorium… followed by the pledge of allegiance… followed by a huge roar of clapping and cheering.
What was going on?! Had the President already arrived?? If so, why were all of us still in a private room instead of being out there to watch him speak??
Haha! We were very confused and wondering what was going on!
We were then informed that the plan for his visit had changed because of the tragic shooting in
Due to the tragedy, President Obama had to cut his trip to
short. He entirely cancelled his rally in Orlando
and only had a very short time to be in Fort Myers.
He decided that instead of talking about politics, he would instead deliver remarks about the shooting that killed 12 people and injured many more. I definitely think that was appropriate and his speech really touched me much more than any political speech could have…
He began by saying-
"Life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. What matters at the end of the day is not the small, trivial things that so often consume us. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another…. That’s why we’re here.”
He ended his speech saying-
“I hope that after the events of today, you spend a little more time thinking about the incredible blessings that God has given us. We should be grateful that we are here. There are other days for politics. Today is a day for reflection. Be thankful and may God bless you." - President Obama
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victim’s families and I pray that God’s strength will comfort and sustain them in the hard days to come.
So now the speech was over… the crowd was still applauding and chanting “Four more years… Four more years!”… but those of us in the private room had still not “seen” President Obama!!
I was starting to think that maybe I was not going to get to talk to him at all due to his limited time, but I definitely understood given the circumstances.
Two minutes later the secret service came into the room and asked us to back away from the door… 30 seconds later, in walks President Obama!!!
Standing right in front of me, only
5 feet away!!
He is a remarkable man—a little bit taller and thinner in person than he appears on TV. He is so charismatic and speaks gently and kindly. He exudes this positive energy and confidence.
He began to explain the tragedy that had occurred and how he had planned to have some time to take photos, but now he would need to get back to D.C soon, he thanked everyone for their support and proceeded to make his way around the room to shake everyone’s hands.
He came over to me and told me I had an incredible story and that I was a very courageous young lady! I hugged him and kissed him, shook his hand and began to share with him my story and my mission of raising awareness of my plight in hopes of making the ketamine coma treatment that saved my life in
available here in the US.
I was able to personally hand him my binder of information, which he handed to his aide who placed it straight into his personal black briefcase that an aide had carried into the room for him!
He promised he would review the information on his trip back home to the White House and that he would research what type of help he could give and/or who he should pass the information along to.
He told me that I looked really great and whatever treatment I received, obviously worked. He also asked me if I was going to go to medical school... :)
My mom also spoke with him and she told him that it was such an honor and privilege to be here today with him. He told her that he would try to help in any way he could. She handed him a gift—a framed picture of the mountain that we looked at for 2.5 years in Monterrey, Cerro de la silla, with the bible verse underneath it Romans 5:5 “and hope does not disappoint.” Hope has been a reoccurring theme in his campaign slogans and I hope that he will help.
I am honestly so humbled that he even took a few minutes out of his crazy day to personally talk with me and listen to my story. I think this speaks a lot to his character and it is my prayer that I will be hearing from him soon.
But for now, my little binder of information is flying back to DC on Air Force One. And that is a pretty cool thought!
I remember when I met First Lady Michelle Obama in April, she said something to us that really stuck with me about her husband. She said that he has a photogenic memory—that if he speaks to you and hears your story, he does not forget you… he simply can’t. She said it’s almost a fault of his, because he can never get the stories of people he hears off of his mind.
So please pray that the time that I spent with him will remain on his mind and that the literature I gave him will be well received and be able to bring help to so many suffering, really, really soon!
Two years ago, as I lay in a darkened hospital room, on massive doses of medications, unable to eat, or move, with a body wracked in pain and covered in sores, I never could have envisioned this day-- July 20th,
2012, a date
that will be forever etched in my memory as the day I met President Barack
Obama, the 44th president of the United States.
God IS great—and all of the glory belongs to Him!
In God’s love!
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope….and HOPE does NOT disappoint.”
PS- I will share other pictures with the President as soon as they are available to me… I do not have any interior pictures of the rally because we had to hand in our phones in order to enter :(
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