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Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Fangyu Wu

Single Parent of Five, Child with Disability, Medicaid CHIP

As a successful businesswoman, Fangyu Wu never thought that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would impact her. She never thought that she or her family would be without health insurance. But after years of marriage, five beautiful children, and overcoming the rollercoaster of a once-thriving business, she found herself in the middle of a life changing situation.

In 2016, Fangyu filed for divorce and found herself and her children, two whom are on the spectrum of autism, without health insurance.

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Tuyet Vu

Mother of Six, Child with Disability, Medicaid

When Tuyet Vu and her husband started their family, they worked as a team raising their children and bridging the hardships with love and support. In nine short years, they grew a fun bunch of six children, including Quynh Vo who was born with down syndrome. Money was not abundant but they enjoyed the small joyous moments that all families with children cherish.

Ritu Gyawali

Elderly Parents, Chronic Condition, Medicaid, Medicare

Ritu is 24-years old, a Texan, Nepali American and daughter. She loves country music, Mexican American food and her family. In the early 2000s, Ritu’s father began to feel increasingly fatigued, dizzy with periods of rapid heartbeat. He would describe the pain like his heart was beating out of his chest. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and eventually, congestive heart failure.

Janellia Lejjena

Mother of Three and COFA Migrant

I am raising three beautiful children. My husband, Nakita, is a dedicated father who works hard to support our family. But times are tough and he’s struggling to find stable work and we live paycheck to paycheck. In 2015, I became ill with a fever but tried to treat my illness at home in hopes of avoiding an expensive trip to the doctor since we were uninsured. Despite my best effort, the illness quickly turned into pneumonia and I was hospitalized for three good days. I was unable to speak, move, and even breathing was painful.

Mee Pwa

Mother of Four, Medicaid, Child with Disability, Caring for Elderly Parents

Mee Pwa is a mother of four including a daughter who was born with a congenital defect that blocked her ability to pass stool and urine. An operation when she was 3-days old saved her life but left her with a lifetime disability. Pwa’s seven year old daughter visits the hospital monthly to check her kidneys. Her daughter needs constant care at school where a nurse changes her catheter every three hours. The medical supplies and care that her daughter receives is all covered under Medicaid.