Monday, January 23, 2006

Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation Taking Advocacy Role

As I mentioned in a post on January 10, I was recently vacationing in Florida, and while there I spent some time visiting the Schindlers in St. Petersburg.

The Schindlers, though grieving for Terri, have not been idle in the months since her death. They have been working to re-organize the foundation they set up to aid in their effort to save her life for a new mission: As Bob succinctly put it, they want to "make sure that what happened to Terri never happens to anyone else."

And so, they have re-structured the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation as a tax-exempt corporation whose purpose is to educate the public about the rights of the disabled and to provide resources to families seeking to fend off attempts to take the lives of their loved ones. Bobby and Suzanne (Terri's brother and sister) have left their former careers and have devoted themselves full-time to the work of the foundation. They have made a number of speaking appearances, and Bobby has testified in front of several state legislatures that were considering laws intended to provide greater protection for the lives of the disabled.

They have opened an office in St. Petersburg, and have retooled the Terri's Fight website. They write on the website:
To our Dear Friends and Faithful Supporters,

No words can adequately express how grateful we are to every one of you who fought so valiantly to help us try to save the life of our dear daughter and sister, Terri. Please accept our most heartfelt thanks for your support, prayers and acts of kindness for Terri and our family. We have received tens of thousands of condolence messages, letters, cards and emails from all over the world.  We are forever grateful to you.

As a family we are still grieving our great loss. Since Terri’s death we have decided to carry her legacy of life and love forward so that her sacrifice will not have been in vain, and that others may avoid the same terrible fate...

Our family, Bob Sr., Mary, Bobby and Suzanne, are all working full time for the Foundation which will advocate for persons in danger of being killed because they have been deemed “unworthy of life”...

Please make a point of visiting the new site and offering your prayers and contributions to their work, so that Terri's legacy will be one of greater reverence for all human life, no matter how limited or seemingly "unworthy" it may be.