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3-Year-Old Towson Girl With Leukemia Represents Affordable Care Act At White House

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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A Towson family lands in the national spotlight. The president of the United States invited Alycia Steinbeck and her daughter Avey to the White House to help rally support for the Affordable Care Act. Avey is a 3-year-old leukemia patient.

Kai Jackson talks with the family about their memorable trip to Washington.

The Affordable Care Act has been met with an equal amount of praise and criticism. Yet Friday, President Barack Obama says the new law is helping a Towson family who’s child is battling a deadly disease.

Avey O’Doherty of Towson is a free spirited, energetic and curious 3-year-old.

“She has ALL, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia,” said Avey’s mother, Alycia Steinberg.

ALL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Little Avey was diagnosed in 2011 and has been treated at Johns Hopkins since that time.

From hospital stays to chemotherapy, she’s endured a great deal, especially for a child.

“She was amazing through, she’s been amazing through all of it,” said Steinberg.

It was an early Mother’s Day for Alycia and other women at the White House on Friday.

“We had an amazing day going to Washington D.C.,” she said.

In a push of his agenda, President Obama acknowledged Avey as an example of the Affordable Care Act, working to help children and families.

“That’s why the Affordable Care Act made it illegal for bad actors to discriminate against kids like Avey,” said President Obama.

“It gives us tremendous peace of mind to know that coverage of her treatment won’t be denied because of this preexisting condition,” Steinberg said.

These are Avey’s beads of courage. Johns Hopkins has given her a set and different colors with each treatment milestone.

Alycia says the Affordable Care Act has allowed Avey to reach those milestones.

“It means so much that our leaders really understand how important this law is to real people and real families,” she said.

Avey’s treatment and medicine are expensive.

Alycia says Avey’s initial 24 day stay at Johns Hopkins costs $100,000. Insurance paid for it.

Alycia Steinberg says Avey will likely continue chemotherapy through January of 2014.

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