Born to a family of little means in small-town North Carolina, I understand the value of both hard work and social assistance. Utilizing resources like WIC and welfare, my parents were able to offer resources they could not otherwise afford. Years later, with only an eighth grade education, my father opened a successful chimney business thereby providing a new way of life for the family. Without resources provided through social programs in the beginning, our success story would not likely have been possible.
As a result of learning from my parents’ perseverance and hard work, I went on to become a first generation college graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and later a master’s degree in public policy from Liberty University. I knew from an early age I wanted the opportunity to work in public service.
In May 2012, my father lost his battle with a terminal illness, devastating the family and leaving behind a mountain of medical bills. Just months later, my resilience was again tested when I found myself clinging to life in the ICU of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after being hit head on by another car in a collision that killed two people. After weeks of surgeries, BiPAP machines, and blood transfusions, I faced a challenging decision: keeping my unborn child safe or aborting the pregnancy to combat a life-threatening infection.
I chose life and gave birth to a beautiful son in 2013. After the birth, I once again underwent major surgery. After a great deal of rehab, I am now able to walk and function normally thanks to great tenacity and the incredible healthcare professionals who presided over my care. Today, I am a single full-time working mother of two young children, including one with autism.
Losing a father to terminal illness, struggling in and out of hospital stays fighting for my own life, and working with a cumbersome mental health system to provide effective care for my autistic son, I understand firsthand the value of affordable healthcare. As a Christian, I demonstrated my commitment to the sanctity of life before birth. As a responsible owner of firearms, I also understand and appreciate the value of our 2nd Amendment rights and the importance of maintaining that freedom.
I am running for US Congress in NC’s 9th district to introduce a bold, new conservative to take on the left. It is time for the Republican Party to be relevant among younger voters, to embrace diversity within our party, and to reject the idea that establishment politicians are the only suitable candidates for the GOP.