Why I Agree With Joe Biden
No, I'm not referring to the old C-Span clip making its way across social media, in which Senator Biden argues that presidents should not appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices in their final year in office, although I have my opinions! I'm referring to his quest to find a cure for cancer. Vice President Biden has pledged to spend his last year in office on a moonshot effort to encourage cancer research. Morever, news reports suggest that he intends to spend much of his time after exiting office as a citizen advocate for research, screening, and awareness. To which I say, "Bravo Joe, and on behalf of families across America, thank you." The federal government is a huge driver and funder of th initial research that could lead to cures, and a top-level leader taking this on as a personal interest could make a world of difference to push the bureaucracy to focus on innovation and access.
This week I had my chance to say thanks to doctors and staff from Hospital Sisters Health System and Marshfield Clinic while visiting the Cancer Treatment Center at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire. At every point along the tour, I stopped to connect with people--women and men in white lab coats or hospital gowns--to say a word of appreciation or encouragement. These trips can be tough; you see people in the midst of one of life's hardest struggles. But we talk, pray, sometimes even laugh together, and hopefully for a few minutes that day each is able to focus on something besides their battle. On Thursday, I spent time with patients fighting a variety of diseases at St. Joseph's Hospital, and again came away grateful for God's goodness in my life and mindful of the many who need our prayers.
As you know, my own cancer came at a young age, just 35 years old, based on some factos unique to me. Most folks encounter colon cancer later in life, but a new study in the journal Cancer proposes that colon cancer screenings begin at 40 or 45 rather than 50 as today. We're seeing more and more young adults, even those 20 to 34 years old, who are getting colon cancer, and experts expect the numbers to continue rising. In short, talk to your doctor, but also listen to your body. My husband and mom dragged me to the doctor when I was looking and feeling weak day after day, and I'm glad they did, because we caught mine early enough to do something. Be smart, stay aware, and don't try to just "tough it out" when you know something is wrong. You only have one health; take care of it.
Saluting second chances
You hear me say it frequently: with 80,000+ jobs open in Wisconsin, we need more people to get off the sidelines and into the employment game. On Tuesday, I joined with Manpower and WMC to present the inaugural Wisconsin "Job Honor" awards. This special recognition appluads employees who have found success overcoming barriers to achieve the dignity of work and the power of a paycheck. Rather than letting the past dictate their future, these nominees and winners are proving that prosperity is possible when you work hard, stay focused, and keep hoping. I also want to thank the employers who were willing to think beyond the obvious or outside the box to offer work and opportunity to more folks. When we work together as government, employers, and workers, we can ensure every Wisconsinite who wants a job can find one.
Last Friday night, I was honored to join friends from across the Milwaukee area at the Black Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Milwaukee Times. For every discouraging news story we read about the problems in Milwaukee, it's important to remember that there are many more stories of success--of people who are making a difference, improving neighborhoods, creating jobs, mentoring young people, or building institutions. My congratulations to all the winners, and my thanks for your work to make our city a place of prosperity and peace for all our citizens.
Top five for a reason
Need further proof that good things are happening in Milwaukee? This week an American Express-WalletHub.com report on the best cities for women-owned businesses put Milwaukee among the top five in the nation (and Madison in the top 20!) We did especially strong on the business climate for women, clocking in at number two nationally. We also scored well for working moms. Though we still have some work to do on particular indicators within the matrix, especially encouraging more women entrepreneurs, on the whole there's much to celebrate here.