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The past few weeks we have been busy at the State Capitol as we have begun work on interim studies. There are several issues I will be working on over the summer, including a study related to the costs associated with air ambulance service, a variety of studies related to retirement, bills from last year related to the dental industry and surgical assistants. I also serve on the Inter-generational Poverty Task Force, a committee designed to look at how we can break the cycle of poverty in Nebraska. Finally, I am following the issues surrounding our state’s correctional system and the state’s tourism commission. Both of these areas have some challenges that we will need to address in the future and I continue to keep up to date on emerging information in an effort to be prepared for solutions as they come forward next year.
I will be hosting a free program for District 24 residents on Friday, July 15 to help them learn about Medicare basics. The presentation is scheduled from 10:00 –11:00 a.m. at Henderson Health Care, 1621 Front Street in Henderson. The workshop is for people who have Medicare now or will be getting it soon. Participants will learn Medicare fundamentals needed to avoid common pitfalls. Bobbie Kierstead from Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) will present the program. The program offers free, unbiased counseling and education about Medicare to older and disabled Nebraskans. SHIIP does not sell or promote any insurance products. For more information about Medicare, contact SHIIP at (800) 234-7119 or go to www.doi.nebraska.gov/shiip.
I wanted to share with you some news about our family. About a month ago my wife Suzanne began experiencing some back pain. It was followed a short time later by some stomach pains. Upon visiting our Seward doctor, they performed an ultrasound to look at her gallbladder, and found some notable spots on her pancreas and liver. A more thorough dye contrast CAT scan revealed both gallstones and other notable spots, and she was referred onto the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota where she was ultimately diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is a tough one, because most people don’t develop signs of it until it has advanced significantly and has moved to other organs. This is the case with Suzanne. We have a really tough fight ahead of us, but if you have met Suzanne, you know that if anyone can fight this, Suzanne can. There is no cure for pancreatic cancer, but the goal is to keep Suzanne around as long as possible with the best quality of life possible. We are working with excellent doctors at both Mayo Clinic and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and she will be undergoing an aggressive form of chemo throughout the summer.
We have been so touched by the outpouring of support we have received from our friends and family. Although I intend to continue to do my very best in meeting the needs of my constituents and will continue to attend meetings, interim study hearings, and other obligations of the office, I know you understand that right now my priority is Suzanne and being with her as she undergoes treatment to fight this disease.
Our family has a strong faith and we do believe that God is at work in this situation. Even though we don’t understand why, we continue to trust in His plan for our family and ask for your prayers for Suzanne and all of us as we navigate this new journey. If you would like to drop Suzanne a note, our home address is 2577 Waverly Road, Seward, NE 68434.
As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is email@example.com, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Joe and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address your concerns, thoughts and needs. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.