YAF alumna, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was elected to the 112th Congress in 2010 at the age of 31 representing Southwest Washington’s 3rd District. She attended Young America’s Foundation’s West Coast Leadership Conference in November of 2002 while a student at the University of Washington. She has since been back to the Reagan Ranch Center, as a Congresswoman, to inspire students with her story.
In May 2013, Congresswoman Herrera Beutler and her husband Daniel announced they were expecting their first child. In June 2013, she announced her unborn child had been diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome, an often-fatal condition. Jaime and her husband Daniel refused to accept this fate for their baby, ignored doctors’ recommendations, and chose to fight to protect their daughter’s life.
Congresswoman Herrera Beutler and her husband Daniel found out about an experimental treatment that could potentially save their baby’s life from a stranger who read the story in the news. It was the fight of their life to find a hospital who would try the procedure. A doctor at Johns Hopkins agreed to see them but would not agree to treat their baby. Finally, Herrera Beutler was able to persuade the doctor to try the treatment and after 4 weeks the condition was corrected.
She may have been the first baby to survive Potter’s Syndrome, but because Jaime and Daniel fought for their daughter’s life, she will not be the last.
On July 29, 2013, it was announced that the baby had been born two weeks earlier, at 28 weeks’ gestation. Abigail was born without kidneys, becoming the first child in recorded medical history to breathe on her own without both kidneys – a medical miracle.
Jaime’s husband Daniel then gave one of his kidneys to save his daughter’s life. She may have been the first baby to survive Potter’s Syndrome, but because Jaime and Daniel fought for their daughter’s life, she will not be the last.
YAF is proud to count Congresswoman Herrera Beutler among our alumni. We are grateful for her continued friendship to Young America’s Foundation and her continued bold conservative leadership.
Speaking to students at a recent YAF student conference Herrera Beutler said, “It’s possible for every single person in this room, if your desire is to make a difference, you really can.”
She summed up YAF’s message brilliantly when speaking to supporters, “To those who support YAF, thank you, because especially now the younger generation really needs you. By taking your time and effort to invest in an organization that is investing in young people, you’re passing on to the next generation a better America.”