Abby Schanfield of Minneapolis will sit in First Lady Michelle Obama's box during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

Schanfield was among the Minnesotans the Star Tribune profiled in June after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama.

Schanfield was born with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease. She has had lifelong medical problems, including a brain operation before her first birthday and losing sight in her left eye at 17. Schanfield said that she'd have little chance of buying medical insurance on her own without the law, which aims to prevent insurers from turning away people who have preexisting conditions.

"These are things that healthy people don't quite understand," she said.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the recent University of Minnesota graduate can stay on her parents' insurance policy until she turns 26. Prior to the new law, Schanfield would have lost coverage on her 21st birthday.