How Ginalisa fought all odds to get the right care for her daughter and how that inspired her to help everyone else in need.
Twenty years ago, my daughter Tara was born with Down syndrome. The happiness I felt after giving birth was quickly taken away by doctors who encouraged me to give Tara up for adoption. They promised if I kept her, we would both have a terrible life.
I understood in that moment that raising a daughter with Down syndrome would be difficult, but there wasn't anything that could make me give my baby up. The hospital provided me with no services or guidance on raising a daughter with Down syndrome, so at 26 years old, I left the hospital as a new mom—angry and all alone.
But, I never believed what the doctors told me.
I knew I could provide Tara with the life she deserved, even if had to do it without a support system. I was forced to learn how to navigate the Medicaid system by myself. I fought constantly with Medicaid agencies for the care my daughter deserved, even after they tried to deny me services I knew my daughter was entitled to. I made sure Tara was enrolled in all the right schools and provided with five days of speech therapy instead of the two days social workers wanted.
Today, Tara has helped inspire a business that has helped hundreds of other mothers and families in similar situations.
I started Medicaid Advisory Group after I realized there was a need for a social service to help families and patients navigate through the complex government bureaucracy. Our team of social workers advocates on behalf of families trying to get care from Medicaid. They are no longer alone. Before Tara was born, I worked in hospitals and nursing homes as an Entitlement Analyst for families struggling to pay healthcare cost, but I never felt their pain and struggles. After Tara was born, I began connecting and understanding the pain and challenges these families faced. They were now facing the same challenges I was facing with Tara. I had fought for Tara, and I knew I could fight for other families too. So, I left my job to create the support system that I always wanted but never had.
I founded Medicaid Advisory Group to help guide individuals and families who are struggling to navigate through the complicated healthcare system. I fight to ensure they receive all the services and care they have the right to receive. As women, we are labeled with titles: mom, wife, caregiver, and cook. We assume these titles and roles because they are responsibilities in our every day life. But I've learned, sometimes, it's okay to not assume those titles and take the chance to pursue new roles. In my situation, my passion was my business to help others, which became Medicaid Advisory Group.
I don't want people to say, "poor her." I want them to see how I am using my obstacles in life to help others. I am building a future for my daughter and others in similar situations. I approach my business with the attitude that if something looks like a bad situation, I can find a way to make it a good situation. I tell my clients they can't let tragedy define their lives. Whether there is a sickness in your family or you lose your job, getting hung up on the negative situation isn't going to solve anything. And if the doctors give you negative news, it's okay. Take the professionals advice but co-mingle it with what you feel and think. Do your own research and pursue what makes you feel comfortable.