I grew up on a family farm in Falmouth. As an adult I have worked in an office and in construction and have run a dog grooming business, and now I own and operate Thread of the Mill Farm in Gray.

I work the farm by myself. I built the barn, outbuildings and the house I live in with my own two hands.

Even during the good times, farming is not a lucrative business; in fact, it can be expensive. Every time you save a little, a piece of equipment breaks, or something else expensive needs to get done.

After being covered for three years, I lost my MaineCare on Dec. 31, 2013. It was a very scary time for me.

I always said that I was one of the lucky ones, having relatively no health issues. But last summer, when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, I found out all along that wasn’t the case.

All the previous winter and spring I’d been feeling exhausted, but since I didn’t have health care, I dismissed any thoughts of it being a health issue. I just figured I was getting old.

If I hadn’t lost my MaineCare and been without health care in the early stages of my deteriorating health, my diagnosis and recovery could have come sooner.

I have always been the healthy one in my family – now I have a health issue that will potentially be with me for the rest of my life. I need my health to maintain my livelihood.

I am urging Maine’s leaders to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion, to provide coverage to all who are like me in Maine. No one should live with this anxiety. Health care is a human right.

Gail MacLean

Thread of the Mill Farm