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Please read this entire important message:

Mandy Bradshaw turns 21 on March 11, 2001. The Bradshaws and all of Mandy's friends and family are so thankful to God that she is here with us for this birthday celebration.

As most of you know, it takes many people and much financial investment to care for this precious young lady. The imminent challenge is that current law will cause her Medicaid payments to drop drastically the moment she turns 21. The law is written such that minors and the elderly receive substantially more benefits than those folks in the middle. Medicaid has been providing the majority of the funding for Mandy's nursing, physical therapy, medications, and equipment. The day she turns 21, even though her needs are exactly the same, these vital services and supplies will not be affordable to the Bradshaws.

Ironically, if Rick and Pam decided they could no longer care for Mandy, Medicaid would immediately pay for 100% of her care in a nursing home. But Rick and Pam have chosen the far more difficult road of caring for Mandy themselves in their own home - significantly more beneficial for Mandy, the patient (and less costly!) - yet Medicaid does not support this.

Mandy has made such progress since coming home - if her therapies are taken away, she will only regress. If there is no nursing care, Pam becomes Mandy's 24 hour-a-day nurse and cannot work to earn much-needed income.

We have two calls to action to bring before you:

1. Political Action

Pam is working tirelessly with other close friends to contact the appropriate people to try and get Mandy on waiting lists for the home and community-based waiver (available through Developmental Services) that will allow more funding to go toward her medical needs. She is also working to have the law changed so funding is based on a "needs" basis, not an "age" basis.
Soon we will have contact information for congressmen and other people you can write to on Mandy's behalf.  Stay tuned.

(Read a letter from Sue Hilinski to Governor Bush.)

2. Help meet immediate needs

Even if Mandy is placed on waiting lists for Waivers - it will be many months before she would receive the extra funding, if at all. Even if there is success in changing the law, that can take years.

Mandy needs nursing care, physical therapy, speech therapy, medical equipment and supplies. Again, the money that has been provided by Medicaid that will cease to be provided after March 11.

If you wish to contribute financial support, send your tax-deductible donations to:

Northland, A Church Distributed
530 Dog Track Road
Longwood, Florida 32750

Make your check out to Northland. Be sure to designate it for Mandy Bradshaw ON A SEPARATE PIECE OF PAPER - NOT ON THE CHECK.

Please contact us if you are a nurse, physical therapist, speech therapist or other clinician and wish to contribute your professional services. Any of the 100+ lay volunteers who have been working with Mandy will tell you what a blessing and a joy it is to spend time with her.

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