Parents of disabled kids urge Kansas lawmakers to expand aid, fix issues with health care system

An issue brought up several times during the seven-hour meeting Monday was the waitlist for receiving aid for intellectual and developmental disabilities.


State News

September 28, 2022 - 2:54 PM

Parent Rick Elskamp urges legislators to provide more aid to struggling families during Monday’s hearing on KanCare oversight. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Legislature YouTube channel)

TOPEKA — A Kansas mother struggling to balance treating her cancer with caring for her disabled children urged lawmakers Monday to provide more support for people like her.

Kathy Keck, a mother of five kids, three of whom have developmental and medical disabilities, said she left the workforce more than five years ago to care for her children. Now, with a mastectomy scheduled, Keck said she doesn’t know who will watch them while she is recovering. 

According to Keck, her daughter’s full-time nurse covers 52 hours a week, and her husband, a full-time nurse, handles 40 hours of child care per week, leaving Keck in charge of her daughter for about 76 hours per week. Keck doesn’t know what to do for her six- to eight-week mastectomy recuperation period, where she won’t be able to do any heavy lifting.

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