Willie Jean Bruce – Wildomar, CA

My name is Willie Jean Bruce. I’ve been a caregiver for my 51-year-old daughter, Lisa, since 2012. We live in Wildomar, CA.

Lisa lives with a genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, otherwise known as Brittle Bone Disease. She has bone spurs in her feet and fractures in her legs, and had hip replacements in 2011 and 2012. Because her bones don’t heal well, it is a special procedure and it took us over a year to find a doctor to do it.

Lisa was able to go to school and college and to work for a long time. But I ended up taking early retirement because she was having a lot of medical issues. She had to have her esophagus opened up, eats special foods, and has asthma and respiratory problems because her chest cavity is small. She was immobile for a while.

I help Lisa bathe and eat. I massage her with special oils to keep her joints loose. I have to try and keep her toes and her fingers straight. I do general cleaning and most chores for her. I take her to the doctor and monitor her medications.

The care I provide keeps Lisa out of costly assisted living facilities, and IHSS—a state program funded by Medicaid—allows Lisa to live at home with me. She’s my child and no one will give her the attention I do. IHSS is a lifesaver, really. It allows Lisa to get the care she needs that she wouldn’t be able to afford on her own.

IHSS gives us peace of mind. I don’t know what we would do if Medicaid and IHSS are cut. Despite the constant pain Lisa is in, at least she has the comfort of her home.

Willie Jean Bruce is a constituent of Congressman Ken Calvert, who voted to repeal our health care and cut Medicaid by at least $880 billion dollars.