When Aria Gibson of Reynoldsburg came down with appendicitis at age 10, her parents thought they’d have to cancel a Disney vacation they’d saved for over several years.

But Nationwide Children’s Hospital, through a federal program created under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, offered an alternative to surgery: They had launched a test on whether appendicitis would respond to antibiotics. The Gibsons signed Aria up, she got better, and a memorable family vacation ensued.

This week, Aria, now 16 and a rising junior at Reynoldsburg High School, went to Washington, D.C., to urge lawmakers to reauthorize the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which will see its $2 billion federal authorization expire Oct. 1 unless Congress renews it.

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