Wausau man says government funding saved his life - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau man says government funding saved his life

by Colby Robertson

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Tuesday, Scott Kneser heads to the Nations Capital where he will testify in front of Dave Obey and the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

Kneser plans to talk about past funding for medical research and share first hand its benefits. Funding for the National Institute of Health hits close to home for Scott Kneser. He suffers from a genetic heart condition and says he wouldn't be here today without the help of government funding.

Scott Kneser, will stand in front of Congressman Dave Obey and the Appropriations committee and share his story, testifying how past grants and funding for medical research saved his life.

Kneser says, "I want to tell them the benefits I have personally received from the NIH funding in the past which I'm a live breathing example having a complete heart transplant I would have needed to take anti-rejection drugs the rest of my life."

The Aspirus employee has a genetic heart condition. Discovered in 1982, for years he lived on medications. He says, "In 2005 I went to the Mayo Clinic and I had a cardiac procedure called a septal myectomy that was done in order to improve the blood flow in my heart and to take away some of the fatigue that I was having."

Doctors implanted a cardiac defibrillator inside Kneser. The procedure possible because of government funding.

Kneser says, "This was a genetic problem that 20 years ago the only possible solution to this condition was to have a complete and total heart transplant."

The defibrillator works as a shocking mechanism if his heart rate spikes for five consecutive heartbeats. It's this story, this first hand experience he will share with Congress and Representative Dave Obey.

Kneser says, "He likes to see his constituents in Washington. He likes to see people he has directly helped and I'm hoping that my presence in Washington will allow them to direct more funds to the National Institute of Health."

Kneser is scheduled to give his testimony Wednesday afternoon. He then plans to walk in the American Heart Association walk Saturday in Wausau. For more information on that event, click here.

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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