Good Times: Pioneer Women

Congratulations to Mount Madonna School alumni parent Amy Colton (Aaron, ’08 and Lindsey, ’11), recently named by Good Times magazine as one of six local change-makers!

“Right up front it was easy to see that Amy Colton was an unlikely champion to take on Sacramento and our broken health system to fight for an important cause having to do with women’s health,” comments Ward ‘SN’ Mailliard, Mount Madonna School Values in World Thought  teacher and a longtime friend of Colton’s. “She did not like public speaking, or have any experience with politics, However the cause of making sure doctors who reviewed mammograms notified women that they have an additional risk factor for breast cancer was just too important for her to ignore. It was personal. Amy, a breast cancer survivor, became aware that her late diagnosis was due to the difficulty in spotting cancer in women who have dense breast tissue. Nobody seemed to care. The industry did not want to respond, so Amy, with no political experience, decided to get this issue noticed.”

“The power of passion for a right and just cause,” continued Mailliard,  “took her past all the ‘I can’t, I don’t know how, and I am afraid’ to ‘this must be done.’ And, she performed a small miracle. She found an ally in State Senator [Joe] Simitian [Calfiornia’s 11th district] and got a bill passed in both houses of the State Legislature in one term. The bill required the screeners to let women know if they had this additional risk factor. The bill went all the way to Governor Brown’s desk where it was vetoed thanks to some last minute lobbying by people who felt that they had something to lose. It was not our governor’ s finest hour, but it was a triumph for Amy and the women she represented.

It was all the more special because this is not something she wanted to do. It was something she had to do, and she did it in spite of all the internal promptings that said she could not. Amy was that one small voice that is so important in a democratic society; the one that says, “maybe I can’t do it, maybe I don’t have what it takes, but I still have to try.” Amy is part of our school community and exemplifies what we hope our students will become, a citizen who act on their beliefs regardless of the cost.”

Read the whole story, “Pioneer Women,” by Elizabeth Limbach at: