Rather than yell at her senator over health care, she showed her a photo of her daughter.

Rev. Janice Hill wasn't planning to go to D.C. last Tuesday, but her daughter's health was so important, she skipped a meeting and got on a bus.

Several hours later, the West Virginia pastor found herself in a meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), where she showed the lawmaker a photo of her daughter Amy, a cancer survivor, and asked her not to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"These are real people. My daughter," the nervous Hill said as the senator listened. "And so I just want you to have that in your brain when you look at this."


The encounter was filmed and posted online:

"The next thing you know, somebody said, 'Girl, it’s gone viral,'" Hill says in an interview.

Hill's conversation with Capito has been watched over 4 million times since it went public on Thursday.

The polite yet dogged exchange struck a chord with Americans who fear that new Senate legislation released last week could endanger their ability to pay for care by doing away with consumer protections implemented by the ACA.

Capito has yet to take a position on the bill, which would make substantial cuts to Medicaid and allow states to enable private plans to waive certain "essential" health benefits. CNN included Capito on a list of 12 Republican senators whose votes remain in play.

Capito's office has not responded to Upworthy's request for a comment.

Amy was diagnosed with neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma, a rare form of endocrine cancer, in July 2013 — an illness she's still fighting to this day.

Hill fears her daughter, who gets coverage through her employer, has already exceeded any prospective lifetime benefits cap, which would end insurance payments over a certain lifetime dollar amount or on specific benefits. The ACA outlawed such caps, but they could be brought back under the new legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell takes questions on the health care legislation. Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

Within the first seven months of her treatment, Amy had already accumulated more than $1.2 million in costs.

"She is not a drain on this country," Hill says. "She’s been a marathon runner. She doesn’t smoke. Drinks very little. Is in great physical shape. And yet, her world and my world got turned upside down when she got that phone call about this cancer."

Opposition to the legislation emerged swiftly after the text of the bill was made public on June 22.

Illinois residents protest the bill. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

On June 22, over 50 activists with disabilities from ADAPT were arrested outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office while protesting the bill's proposed Medicaid cuts.

Meanwhile, thousands have turned to social media to express concern about how the legislation might affect their families who depend on Medicaid, have pre-existing conditions, or have chronic illnesses that are expensive to treat. A Congressional Budget Office report estimates that 22 million fewer Americans will be insured by 2026 if the bill becomes law.

Hill, who has spoken privately with many of her congregants about their health challenges, says the legislation is "the most immoral bill that has come about in a long time."

In addition to her daughter's spiraling costs, she worries the bill would create an untenable situation for the 30% of West Virginians enrolled in Medicaid and the rural hospitals that would be in danger of shutting down if the program is gutted.

On June 26, Hill joined a rally in Charleston to encourage her fellow West Virginians to continue pressuring the state's two senators to reject the bill.

Initially, she planned to use some of her time to praise Capito for listening.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images.

Instead, Hill told attendees at the rally that the tone of the conversation was less important than what the senator plans to do next.

"I very passionately said, 'You know what? She was nice to me, but so what? I don’t care if she’s nice to me,'" Hill explains. "She could have called me every name in the book, she could have spit in my face, and I don’t care. I just want her to vote the correct way.'"

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.