Invitations to state dinners at the White House are very rare and highly coveted. (You might remember, a couple of years ago, the uproar that occurred after the Salahi couple gate-crashed a White House state dinner.)
Caleb and Kourtney were honored guests of the Obamas thanks to a single letter that the pair sent to the White House in November 2012. The letter thanked President Obama for keeping his campaign promise to reform health care, which had a direct, major impact on the Ballews’ lives.
Three years ago, the Ballews found themselves without insurance and with Kourtney needing several expensive surgeries. At the time, Kourtney (also an attorney) was in her first week working at a law firm and hadn’t incurred her benefits yet.
Kourtney told the Montgomery Advisor, “I had never been sick before. I had never had a procedure or anything like that. Letting the insurance lapse is bad, but I had never been sick, so I was just thinking, hopefully something won’t come up.”
Unfortunately, something did come up, and the Ballews didn’t know how they would pay for the surgeries. They couldn’t get private insurance because Kourtney’s condition was classified as “pre-existing.”
Luckily, the Ballews were able to get insurance under the government-run Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. This insurance covered much of the procedure’s cost.
“Kourtney and I avoided a serious medical emergency and potential financial ruin,” said Caleb.
The Ballews drove from Huntsville to Washington, D.C. for the Tuesday dinner on Monday after work.
After moving through White House security, the two got their picture in front of the famous George Washington portrait and chatted with NBA star Kevin Johnson. When they reached President Obama at the end of the receiving line, the president personally remembered Caleb’s letter.
Caleb and Kourtney were seated at the president’s table, just a stone’s throw away from the first lady and Stephen Colbert. The dinner was followed by a performance by Mary J. Blige.
It was an “incredible experience,” according to Caleb. The pair had a wonderful time and were extremely excited to have had the opportunity. This is a story that Caleb and Kourtney—who is now the picture of health—will certainly enjoy telling for years to come!