The Young and the Restless' Max Page (ex-Reed Hellstrom) is channeling his inner Victor Newman and bringing one heck of a fight to help improve health care in the United States.
The young actor, who had to give up his role on the CBS soap due to a rare congenital heart defect and over a dozen subsequent heart surgeries, is now advocating for better child health care policies. On July 12, he will represent Children's Hospital Los Angeles at the 2017 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day being held in Washington, DC.
"It's important to share stories," Page, who wears a pacemaker and has an artificial pulmonary heart valve, told People about the purpose of the event, which brings in 47 young patients from around the country to meet with congressional leaders to speak about child health care policies that benefit children's hospitals.
"I want the Senators to put a face to children's health care. I tell them my story, what surgeries I have had, and how much I needed my doctors now and in the future."
The eighth grader's condition -- called Tetralogy of Fallot -- requires lifelong care, making this year's advocacy day especially important. When Max was hospitalized for thirty-two days in January for endocarditis, his family relied on a largely Medicaid-funded supplemental insurance program through California Children's Services.
"Our message to Senators is to save Medicaid for kids... We have to come to the table to get some sensible health care for kids and families. I don't want Max worrying about how he will get care when he's an adult, because this is a lifelong condition for him," says Max's mother, Jennifer Page. "We want Max to be able to get his own insurance one day and be able to take care of himself."
Although he may be young, Page is working hard to be taken seriously for this very important issue.
"I may get asked about the Senate and House bills, so I have to brush up on those. So I talk to my mom, and we go over questions that will be asked, and I learn who I am going to talk to," Max explains. "If the funding gets cut, there might not be the care there for me and other kids -- it's always in the back of my mind."
For more information on Page's trip to Washington, DC, check out People's full story here.
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