I just got home from a Meet Your Candidate event for Shireen Ghorbani. I’ve got to say I am impressed. She’s genuine, she has real life experience with many of the issues. She understands the reality of politics in Utah. She’s running a common ground campaign so far which really speaks to me. She doesn’t criticize the other side. She’s showing what she stands for, not what the other side’s blemishes are. She has so much in common with the people that I am around that I feel very hopeful that she has a chance at winning. She’s smart for keeping the issues local. She’s truly a grassroots candidate which gives me a lot of hope for the future. She shares my same concerns about getting big money out of politics which I find encouraging. When she spoke, she spoke from the heart. She’s got the pulse of the state I think. At this point it is about engagement. How much of the public feels compelled to vote or to follow the issues? I feel inspired to help because one of her main platforms is expanded medicaid/medicare coverage with the ultimate goal of universal healthcare. Healthcare hasn’t always been an issue that is important to me, but since my son’s diagnosis I have truly realized for myself how important healthcare is. ABA therapy for an autistic child costs anywhere from $65,000-100,000 a year depending on the frequency of therapy. This doesn’t include weekly speech therapy and occupational therapy. Of course there are the regular medical costs as well. I have seen with my own eyes how critical this therapy is for the kids as well as the parents. When I think about my own life and my child I can’t imagine what it would feel like to know the right path for your child and not be able to provide it because of insurance issues. The prevalence of autism is much higher in Utah than it is nationally. It’s really important to have someone in there fighting for better healthcare for Utahns. And autism is just one of many health issues. It’s just the one that affects me personally and why I feel passionate about it. Shireen shares that same passion through personal experience albeit a different illness. That is why she has my vote.