OSSINING – Dream Shephard had fought by sickle cell anemia, obtained a lifesaving stem cell transplant from her mother, after which went on to assist change state legislation so others would not should face the challenges with insurance coverage protection that her household did. In 2015, when she was simply 10 years outdated, Dream was named one in all New York state’s “Girls of Distinction.”
Whereas Dream’s sickle cell therapy was thought-about profitable, the Ossining Excessive Faculty pupil developed osteosarcoma. Dream Ioni Shepherd died on Aug. 16, 2021, on the age of 16.
Dream was about to begin her senior 12 months at Ossining Excessive Faculty.
In 2019, New York state handed Dream’s Regulation, which mandates that insurance coverage firms assure protected and continued take care of sufferers with a central venous line after being discharged from the hospital. The invoice was rapidly expanded to cowl others whose medical situations demanded extra post-hospital care than their households might present on their very own.
Dream and her mom, Diana Lemon, have been additionally serving to form one other state invoice to make sure mother and father of minor youngsters with severe medical situations have been made conscious of instructional lodging. The invoice, which might be referred to as the Shepherd Patterson legislation, handed the Senate in the course of the 2021 legislative session however did not make it to the Meeting flooring for a vote.
“In simply 16 years, Dream touched numerous lives, and led on to the passage of 1 state legislation, and the introduction of one other,” stated state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, sponsor of the Shepherd Patterson legislation. “She’s going to go away a tremendous legacy and be remembered at all times by everybody who knew her.”
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Dream had been lively within the Woman Scouts since kindergarten. By way of the Backyard of Goals Basis, she sang at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor and the Beacon Theater with the O.A.R. 2.0 refrain. At age 14, she was featured in a particular about transplant recipients hosted by Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”
A GoFundMe assortment has been began to assist the household with funeral prices.
‘A lot promise’
Dream’s Regulation, was motivated by the battle that Dream’s household confronted following her 2014 launch from the hospital after a stem-cell transplant to deal with her sickle cell.
The insurance coverage firm declined a request for nursing help to handle her central venous Lline, which matches into the affected person’s coronary heart. CVL points can result in lethal blood infections.
Dream’s mother did not have a medical background or sources to rent an aide on her personal, and was left in command of the CVL, an expertise Lemon described as harrowing.
The invoice was sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Galef and then-Sen. David Carlucci. When then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it, he expanded it to cowl folks with different medical situations.
Galef, who has identified Dream and Lemon for years, can be the Meeting sponsor of the proposed Shepherd-Patterson legislation.
Dream “actually pulled the entire Ossining group collectively” as she battled by sickle cell after which most cancers, the Ossining Democrat stated. “It is simply very unhappy if you lose a youngster with a lot promise.”
Galef stated that Dream, alongside together with her mom, had impressed so many in Albany with their advocacy.
“Their efforts have helped, and can assist, New Yorkers,” Galef stated. “And we’ll attempt to get this subsequent laws carried out in her reminiscence.”
A homegoing service for Dream shall be held within the close to future.
Nancy Cutler writes about Folks & Coverage. Click on right here for her newest tales. Comply with her on Twitter at @nancyrockland.