“It’s unimaginable to think how one could go through these health challenges alone and without healthcare and without paid family medical leave. I was lucky to work for an employer that provides it. But it shouldn’t be about luck.”
Lee and his husband, Randy, were on vacation in 2018 when he noticed some lower back pain. He went to see an orthopedic surgeon when they got home. At first, the surgeon recommended physical therapy, but when that didn’t help they scheduled an MRI. The MRI showed a possible tumor. This kicked off a flurry of hospital visits, scans, and appointments with specialists. He spent a week at the hospital when the time came for the surgery to remove the tumor, and he required extensive physical therapy and check-ups afterward. Three years later, another health emergency: Randy suffered a minor heart attack due to a blood clot, requiring three days in the hospital and a similar series of therapy and follow-up doctor visits.
Because they both had access to generous leave policies through their employers, Lee and Randy were able to access the care they needed while also supporting each other through very stressful health crises, without worrying about how they were going to pay the bills or whether they would have a job to come back to. They know how important paid leave has been for them in their time of need, and that this is something that every family should have access to, regardless of where they work.