My husband and I were due to have our first child on June 26, 2004. Upon her arrival we were confronted with the fact that Evie had a rare genetic disorder with less than 350 documented cases worldwide. I used the next 12 weeks, thanks to my FMLA, to learn how to be a mom while also learning how to cope with having a child born with a disability and many complicated health issues.
In September 2005, we received the devastating news that Evie had cancer. She needed part of her kidney removed, followed by 18 weeks of chemo and radiation. At the time we received the diagnosis, I no longer had any vacation time left. But the flexibility allowed by Wisconsin’s FMLA enabled our family to develop a plan, even though we didn’t know what the future held in store. Without it, I don’t know where our family would be right now. I had the opportunity to take care of my child when she needed it most while also knowing that my job was secure.
Evie is a beautiful, healthy 8-year-old today. My being able to focus my attention on caring for her saved her life. I would not have been able to do that if it weren’t for the higher standards Wisconsin’s FMLA provides working families.
-Tammie Hefty, Mt. Horeb