Daines Honors Montanans of the Week: Jaxon Agee and Danielle Highley

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today recognized two of Montana’s 24,000 children who benefit from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP.

Jaxon and Danielle

Daines’ recognition in the Congressional Record is available here.

Through his “Montanan of the Week” initiative, Daines each week will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Week” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: http://www.daines.senate.gov/connect/email-steve

The following is the statement submitted to the Congressional Record:


Mr. President, this week I have the honor of recognizing two of Montana’s 24,000 children who benefit from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP. Jaxon Agee of Helena was diagnosed with Leigh syndrome as a baby. Access to a pediatrician is absolutely critical for Jaxon. Despite having a team of medical professionals who work to ensure he remains healthy, he has had to be flown from Helena to Community Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care unit in Missoula several times. Jaxon’s family is committed to caring for their son no matter what, but CHIP helps them manage Jaxon’s condition and makes well-baby checks more affordable – ultimately lowering the odds of another emergency visit.

Danielle Highley of Deer Lodge is another Montana kid who relies on CHIP funding. At just 18 months of age, Danielle lost the ability to walk. A form of juvenile arthritis proved to be a costly condition as injections and infusions cost several thousand dollars. But when Danielle has consistent treatment, she can walk, run and play like a kid again. Before being enrolled in CHIP, Danielle went without treatment for three months and she again lost the ability to walk. CHIP has allowed Danielle the opportunity to get treatment and be a kid again. She’s back in school and when she grows up, of all things, she hopes to be a doctor for kids. I’m also pleased to announce that she will be joining me as my guest at the State of the Union.   

Jaxon and Danielle, thank you for sharing your stories. I am so glad that Congress has passed, and the President has signed into law a six-year reauthorization of the program – the longest in its history. Now, the families of the 24,000 Montana children who depend on CHIP can rest assured their children will continue to have access to critical care.