RED BANK, NJ - Republican congressional challenger Anna Little -- endorsing legislation recognizing Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury as the leading cause of death and disability for children and young adults, and endorsing the National Acquired Brain Injury Plan, which her opponent, 22-year incumbent Democrat Frank Pallone, has been blocking from an up-or-down vote in the Congress -- today challenged Pallone to move the legislation out of his Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee.
At a press conference at Anna Little for Congress headquarters, Sarah Jane Donohue - the five-year-old namesake of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation - announced her enthusiastic support for Anna Little for Congress. Several of Sarah Jane’s friends, also stricken with brain injuries, also announced their support for Little.
"Frank Pallone is wrong to hold up the most broad-based, bipartisan healthcare initiative of this entire Congress," said Little. "As Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he has the power to move this legislation. More than a hundred Members of Congress of both parties have already co-sponsored this legislation, and yet it’s been sitting in his subcommittee for almost a year."
She continued, "He has the audacity to speak about healthcare reform, when he is personally blocking a national political consensus dealing with the number one leading cause of death and disability for our children and young adults - brain injury. I support H. Con. Res. 198, and as a Member of Congress next year, I look forward to working with families and professionals who deal with pediatric acquired brain injury to better prevent, identify and treat this disease."
"The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey enthusiastically supports the Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Act (H. Con. Res. 198)," says Barbara Geiger-Parker, President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey. "We hope Congress passes this measure as soon as possible." The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey is the Sarah Jane Brain Project’s State Lead Center of Excellence for New Jersey, and it was involved in the development of the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan).
Patrick Donohue, father of Sarah Jane Donohue - a five-year-old victim of traumatic brain injury suffered when she was violently shaken by her nurse when she was just a baby - said, "It is pretty clear Congressman Frank Pallone either doesn't care about kids with brain injuries, or he is so arrogant he thinks he knows better than the leading experts in the country. That's why I support Anna Little and I encourage all of my friends and family to do the same."
Jennipher Dickens - mother of four-year-old Christopher Daughtrey, who, like Sarah Jane Donohue, is a victim of traumatic brain injury suffered as a result of abuse - joined Donohue in endorsing Little over Pallone. "Frank Pallone has had almost an entire year to move this important legislation, and he's failed to do so. That's just wrong."
Craig Sears - a survivor of a brain injury caused by a motor vehicle crash when he was but 20 years old - also endorsed Little. "Frank Pallone should be ashamed of himself! As a survivor of a brain injury myself, I wish there had been a National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan in place when my injury occurred. If there had been such a plan in place, my life and my family’s lives would be completely different today. We need people like Anna Little who actually listen and act as opposed to merely acting like they are listening. That's why I support Anna Little!"
"It is time to hold our politicians accountable and that is what we are doing today," said Kim Illions, mother of five-year-old Cole Illions, who suffers from pediatric hydrocephalus. "On behalf of my son, Cole, and on behalf of the many families in the sixth congressional district of New Jersey who have a child with a brain injury, we support Anna Little!" Kim Illions is the coordinator of the largest New Jersey support group for pediatric hydrocephalus. Their family resides in Iselin, New Jersey.
WHEN: Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.
WHERE: Anna Little Headquarters, 64 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07799
For more information about Anna Little, please visit www.AnnaLittleForCongress.com.
For the complete history and facts about H. Con. Res. 198 please visit www.TheBrainProject.org/lettertopallone.php and to learn more about the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation please visit www.TheBrainProject.org/lettertosarahjane.php