Lisa, Ward 5

I'm 35 years old. From 2014-2016, I gave birth to twin premature babies, had surgery, and lost both of my parents. We relied on our savings as my husband took time off, unpaid, to care for not just the twins but also for me as I recovered from surgery. I took a total of 6 months off from work, with 8 weeks of paid time off. We relied on savings.

Less than 2 years later, I took one month off from work to assist my dad who had terminal cancer. I was again able to use vacation time for this absence. I'm not writing to advocate for myself. Instead, I want to share that these unforeseen events can happen to anyone, at any time, and the only reason I got through them is with a flexible employer, FMLA, and some paid family leave. Without my employer, I too would have been forced to choose who to care for: myself? my children? my father? I'm fortunate that I didn't need to make that decision.