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The Faces of Health Care: Tonya F.

Tonya F. from Dallas wrote the President to explain how the Affordable Care Act made it possible for her to get quality, affordable health insurance.

"You have received unconscionable resistance to 'Obamacare,' but I want to thank you for, as my grandmother would say, 'fighting the good fight.'"

Early last year, Tonya F. from Dallas, Texas underwent brain surgery -- "in no small part due to the compassion and foresight you demonstrated in creating and fighting for the Affordable Care Act," she wrote the President.

It all started in November of 2013, when Tonya started experiencing numbness and excruciating pain on the right side of her face. A tooth on the upper-right side of her mouth was causing her the most pain, so she went to her dentist, who referred her to an endodontist. Thinking that the pain was being caused by an old root canal, the endodontist then told her she should see an oral surgeon.

The oral surgeon insisted that Tonya go to a neurologist because of the severity of the numbness. "I had to borrow money to see the neurologist because I was unemployed and without insurance," Tonya wrote.

As she went from doctor to doctor to try to figure out the problem, Tonya's mother insisted that she visit and apply for health insurance. Soon after, Tonya's symptoms got worse, and the neurologist said that she should have an MRI.

The MRI showed that the pain wasn't the result of a failed root canal, but a brain tumor. But as terrible as the news was, Tonya felt fortunate to have health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

"I had a long and painful road ahead of me," Tonya wrote, "but I did not have to put my family into debt on the way."

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