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Winkelsas wins support

Senior Audrey Winkelsas, whose 24-hour attendant care was cut off when she turned 21 in October, has had this Medicaid benefit restored.

Winkelsas has spinal muscular atrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy, and needs around-the-clock care to attend school. During spring 2014, she created a change.org petition that garnered about 7,570 signatures to help raise awareness.

SEE ALSO: Junior combats clause that limits access to care

She announced on the site Sunday that her care was reinstated.

“Last week, I received the news that I will be receiving 24/7 care for the 2014-2015 academic year that will enable me to complete my undergraduate degree,” she posted on the change.org site.

According to Florida’s Medicaid provider handbook, necessary services like 24-hour care are suspended after a person turns 21. Last spring, Winkelsas’s mother, Keely Winkelsas, stayed in Miami to ensure that her daughter could finish her studies.

SEE ALSO: Online petition fosters support

During her first two years at UM, four different attendants, who worked 12-hour shifts at a time on different days of the week, looked after Winkelsas as she completed her studies.

Winkelsas is studying biochemistry in the hopes of finding a cure for spinal muscular atrophy, the condition she was diagnosed with when she was seven months old.

August 24, 2014

Reporters

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.