Coverage of the stalemate in Congress that forced the U.S. government to a standstill

Government Shutdown Delays Approval for Cancer Patient's Much-Needed Drug

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A young mother in Northern California is feeling the direct impact of the government shutdown in the form of life or death. Marla Tellez reports. (Photo courtesy Natural Grace Photography)

    Last year, just weeks after giving birth to daughter Lula, Michelle Langbehn received earth-shattering news. She was diagnosed with sarcoma -- a rare form of cancer -- and told by a specialist that people with the diagnosis live up to a year, on average.

    "The thought of not possibly being able to be here for my daughter and my husband was absolutely heartbreaking," she said.

    Since that day, the 30-year-old Auburn, Calif., woman has had five surgeries, undergone radiation and different rounds of chemotherapy. Running out of time and options, she signed up with the National Institutes of Health for a promising new drug.

    PHOTOS: The 1st Government Shutdown in 17 Years

    She was expecting approval this week, but now must wait for the government shutdown to end.

    "When you are given a terminal diagnosis, each month counts," she said. "And I already have one new spot that has popped up."

    Every second the shutdown drags on, is impacting not just livelihoods, but lives, she and her husband said.

    "I'd love to think about the future with my daughter, but right now it's unknown," she said. "I'd love to think about her first day of kindergarten. Or her getting married but I don't know if that's possible."

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