Illinois senior Senator Dick Durbin's 40 year-old daughter, Chris, died yestersday after years of battling congenital heart disease. Chris Durbin worked for 16 years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington in the emerging markets division. She lived with her husband, Marty Johnson and son Alex in a suburb of Washington.
Senator Durbin has been a long time fighter for health care issues. Among his health care achievements, Durbin has worked successfully for increased federal funding to prevent childhood asthma, increase immunizations and expand medical research. He has successfully fought to increase the share of federal funding dedicated to combating AIDS worldwide. He has also been a leader in promoting organ and tissue donation. In the spring of 2004, Durbin put forth a plan to give small businesses affordable choices among private health insurance plans and expand access to coverage for their employees.