Friday, May 19, 2006

Back Home

With a heavy heart I must announce that I returned home last night to Jamestown. Things didn't go as planned out in Missoula and I thank everyone who has given me support during this time. Sorry for this brief post but I wanted to let everyone know I'm ok.

Be in touch soon......Mark

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Peterson Editorial

This editorial appeared in today's Jamestown Sun. Was written by a friend of mine who also is fighting the unjust system here in North Dakota.



It’s unfortunate Boatman is leaving North Dakota

Gyle Peterson Fargo

It will be a sad day on May 15 when North Dakota will lose one of its citizens. The person I’m referring to is a man of courage, strength, compassion and intelligence. A man who stands up against injustices and fights for human rights for himself and others. But he will not be missed by the state of North Dakota, because he is virtually being exiled by the state.

Mark Boatman, a 30-year-old ventilator-dependent individual with muscular dystrophy who was forced into a nursing home in Jamestown three years ago, is moving to Montana because his own state cannot provide the care he needs, at less of a cost, than what he is being imprisoned at within a nursing home. Where is the justice and humanity in that?

Because of North Dakota’s inadequacies in taking care of its ventilator-dependent citizens, and its "lack of funding" (funny how there’s never a lack of funding when it comes to the Long Term Care Association), Boatman feels that in order for him to live a half-way normal life, in a noninstitutionalized setting, he has to move away from his friends, relatives and parents.

In October, the state of North Dakota and Medicaid will supposedly have a waiver that will provide care for Boatman outside of the nursing home, but he doesn’t feel he can trust either North Dakota or Medicaid to do this. I hope he’s wrong because, being in a similar condition and having my insurance money run out soon, I’ll be next, only I’ll be exiled into a nursing home.

Citizens of North Dakota can help by calling, writing or e-mailing state legislators to provide more funding to in-home services.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Goodbye ND

There are 5 days to go until my departure and the last minute preparations are in full swing. This will be the last post until I'm in Missoula. I may be away from the computer for a brief period of time but will return with news on my arrival and maybe a few pictures too.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Wallevand from WDAY-TV out of Fargo ND. He came out to do an interview on my going to Montana to get out of the nursing home. Kevin is a top notch journalist and I'm positive that this story will expose to many how North Dakota treats some of it's citizens with disabilities. My story was the lead last night on the news and what a great feeling to speak out on how unjust the system is here.

Theresa and Dustin had planned to spend the week here in Jamestown but there was something that came up preventing their journey east. They are eagerly awaiting my arrival on Tuesday and I can hardly wait to get there and meet everyone. Will be a wonderful feeling to roll out of the van and take a breath of mountain air.

Next couple days will be busy with packing, getting the van, getting needed supplies and saying goodbyes. The love and support that has been shown to me by family, friends, and complete strangers has been so amazing and uplifting. It helps knowing that many people are wishing me the very best in all that is ahead for me.

Goodbye for now North Dakota. Montana, ready or not here I come ;-)



Monday, May 01, 2006

Brayden Visits

The time for my new journey to begin is getting close at hand. It's a very strange, exciting, and nervous feeling to know in 14 days that I'll be living outside the nursing home. I believe my return to independence will be a smooth one and I can't wait to for things to begin.

Yesterday my uncle and aunt stopped through Jamestown along with my cousin's little boy Brayden. He is such a sweet, cute and loving 18 month old. He's an active little guy that loves to explore and he's also quite the talker. We had some pizza together before they left and it sure was nice seeing them all. I had to share his picture on my post today.

I've had a great response to my article in last weeks paper. Many people have wished me well and that means so much to me. It's also important that people know why I must leave this state to live independently. It's great to have the opportunity to keep telling my story to as many people as I can. I'm just 1 situation but it must be remembered that there are many others who are stuck in nursing homes waiting for their independence.

This week will the last week of relative calm for me. There's a bit of packing to be done and some more good byes to be said. I'm also preparing for Theresa and Dustin to visit from MT during the week before my departure. More on them next week.

Time to get going for the day. I'll be going to the Kiwanis pancake feed today with my family. Should be a nice time on a rainy Monday. Rain has been great over the weekend and it's sure greening things up.