Supporting paid depart coverage | Letters

As a bladder cancer survivor and business owner, I support the Montana Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act – an affordable way for families to manage care.

When I was diagnosed, I had three part-time jobs and received no benefits or vacation. To treat a rare distant cancer, I traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and lived near the hospital for a month after the operation. I had to stop working to avoid common illnesses that threatened my weakened immune system. My partner was a civil servant, but we weren’t allowed to get married or take family vacations, nor were we allowed to request donations for vacation / sick leave from colleagues. We used up a lot of vacation and sick leave.

During the year that I couldn’t work, we relied on donations and charities from friends and family. Without this support, I might not have been able to provide life-saving treatment.

Many people do not have this support, but everyone should be given time for treatment, recovery, and care.

A paid vacation policy creates an insurance fund that provides the vacation required. Montana should allow people to relax and return to work with the support of their families.

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