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This 12-Year-Old With Mitochondrial Disease Wrote a Letter to Congress Not to Cancel PBS

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My son, Noah, wrote this letter about the difference the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) has made in his life as a disabled child.

Dear Congress,

My name is Noah Polatty. I am currently 12 years old. I have had so many moments in my 12 years of age with the children’s programming on PBS.

I have heard news about removing PBS.

I have a disease called Mitochondrial Disease. It is a life-threatening disease that causes me to have less energy because the mitochondria in my body aren’t effective. Neither is my immune system.

I have had many medical procedures done, and I used to watch the shows and memorize the scripts. My favorite show was “Thomas and Friends.” Every time I had a G-J tube change, or when I had surgery, I got a Thomas train. I would pick my favorite one, and we would buy it when the procedure was done. I also had tracks and a train table I would play on. With my memorized scripts I played with my toys all day long.

In my younger days, I held Elmo with me everywhere I went, if it was a surgery or anything, I would take it with me to calm me down. My doctors listened to Elmo with their stethoscopes before they listened to me. One of my doctors in Boston always wore Elmo ties, and he looked kind of like Mr. Noodle.

I cannot imagine a day without those educational shows. No one would have a nearly free channel to watch. I saw an infographic that said it only took one dollar and three cents per person per year of tax money to keep PBS.

These shows have also taught me many skills that I use today, like being kind to others, keeping your hands to yourself, and the alphabet.

Please don’t remove this channel. It is affecting and shaping our future — because kids are the future.

Noah Polatty

Editor’s note: This story reflects an individual’s experience and is not an endorsement from The Mighty. We believe in sharing a variety of perspectives from our community.

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Originally published: July 7, 2017
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