Waiver Is Best Birthday Present For Nick Dupree
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 3, 2003
MOBILE, ALABAMA--Nick Dupree turned 21 on February 23.
It was a very happy birthday as 40 or so fellow students from Spring Hill College celebrated with him in true Mardi Gras style. The mood was all the more festive, perhaps, because Nick does not have to move into a nursing home in order to continue receiving the care he needs.
Dupree has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that requires him to use a ventilator and a wheelchair. He is able to live with his family because of in-home nursing care paid through Alabama's Medicaid program. Money for that service was to be cut off by law once he turned 21.
He started "Nick's Crusade" in March 2001 to make the public and lawmakers aware of the situation he and countless others faced.
On February 10, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced that the federal government approved a new program in Alabama that would continue Medicaid funded in-home services for 30 people in his age group -- including Dupree and his 18-year-old brother who has the same form of muscular dystrophy.
"I'm really happy that I could make Medicaid save 29 other people," Dupree told WPMI-TV. "I'm happy about that."