Sarkisyan Family Join John and Elizabeth Edwards at Town Hall in Manchester

As president Edwards will fight the powerful entrenched interests and stand up for families like the Sarkisyans

Manchester , New Hampshire – At an emotional town hall meeting this afternoon in Manchester, John and Elizabeth Edwards were joined by James Lowe, Sandy Lakey and the family of Nataline Sarkisyan, who passed away in December after her health insurance company refused to pay for the liver transplant she needed.

“I feel empty inside - my heart, there’s a hole. This is not about only my daughter Nataline, it’s about the whole world, every one of you, this could happen to any of us,” said Hilda Sarkisyan, Nataline’s mother. “We have to put a stop to these people. They cannot tell us who’s going to live and who’s going to die. Right now I am here for her – we have to make a change.”

Speaking after the Sarkisyans shared their story, Edwards’ supporter James Lowe joined Edwards on stage.

“If there’s anybody out here that has little children, you’ve got to fight for them, and John Edwards is the man to do that,” Mr. Lowe said. Edwards first met Mr. Lowe at the site of a Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic during his “Road to One America” tour last July. Mr. Lowe, a former coal miner from Wise County, Virginia, couldn’t speak for 50 years because he didn’t have health care and couldn’t affordthe operation he needed to fix his cleft palate. It was at this free rural clinic, a year ago, that Mr. Lowe finally met with medical professionals willing to donate their time to perform the surgery he needed so he could finally speak.

“When we met John it was the first time in the horrible months following my daughter’s accident that I actually felt a brief moment of hope – I knew that he could help us, and he did,” said Sandy Lakey, whose daughter Valerie was five years old in 1993 when she was very badly hurt by the powerful drain suction at the bottom of a pool because of a faulty drain cover. The manufacturer of the defective part knew their product was dangerous and hid the truth. Edwards represented the Lakey family as their lawyer and ensured that Valerie’s medical expenses would be taken care of for the rest of her life. “He is our champion, he is our hero, heis the man who will change our country, and he will stand up for you all like he stood up for us,” Ms. Lakey continued. “That is why John Edwards is my choice for president of the United States.”

“I want everyone in New Hampshire to know what is at stake in this election,” Edwards said in Manchester. “What kind of fighter do you want to have on your side when your family is faced with this kind of crisis, when your job is being shipped overseas? Do you want somebody who has the right ideas and philosophy, or do you want somebody who has the right ideas and philosophy and the fight to bring about change? Because if I am elected, I will fight for you, I will fight for your kids, I will fight for your grandkids, with every fiber of my being.”

The town hall also served as the kick off for the 36-hour “Marathon for the Middle Class.” John and Elizabeth Edwards will campaign for 36 hours straight to talk to thousands of voters about Edwards’ bold plans to stand up to the powerful entrenched interests and give hard-working, middle class families a voice in Washington. From Manchester, John and Elizabeth will cross the state to meet with voters and supporters in Keene, Derry, Nashua, Berlin, Claremont, Lakeport, Bedford, Hampton, Dover, Somersworth, Rochester, and Durham. The marathon will end with a Graniteroots event at the John Edwards for President office in Portsmouth at 12:30 AM on Tuesday.

To watch the event, please visit the CSPAN website: