Since 2007, Terri Schiavo’s family has marked the anniversary of her death on March 31, 2005 by celebrating Terri’s Day. Through the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network (Narberth, PA), they have channeled the national controversy that erupted over the court-ordered decision that ended Terri’s life by removing her feeding tube into a positive effort of awareness, education and advocacy that supports thousands of families worldwide.
This year, two events will be held in Philadelphia. Glenn Beck, nationally recognized radio personality, founder of The Blaze Network, and seven-time New York Times bestselling author, will be the honored speaker at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s 2nd Annual Award Gala and dinner on Thursday, March 27th at the Union League of Philadelphia.
The evening will include the presentation of the “Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Award,” which honors an individual or family who fought to protect the dignity of a loved one against overwhelming odds. This year’s recipient will be the family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath of California. Deborah Flora, actress, producer, radio talk show host and second runner-up to Miss America, will preside as emcee at the gala. An exhibit of artwork created by Terri during her high school and college years will be on display, and prints will be available for purchase to benefit the organization.
As part of Terri’s Day 2014, an “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will celebrate a national memorial mass on Monday, March 31st beginning at 5pm at the Chapel of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. All are invited and encouraged to attend.
Terri’s Day was established by Terri Schiavo’s family to remember her and foster education, prayer and activism regarding discrimination against the cognitively disabled and medically vulnerable, and advocacy for people in situations similar to what Terri and her family faced.
Terri’s life and legacy serve as a cautionary reminder of the immediate threat placed upon hundreds of thousands of persons with cognitive disabilities. We encourage all people to reflect on the ethical considerations of caring for those unable to do so for themselves, and believe that families, not hospital boards or politics, should dictate outcomes. We have seen a rise in the need for our advocacy efforts, especially in light of the health care crisis in our country. When families such as Jahi’s reach out to us, we support them, at no cost, by connecting them with family services and a network of professional resources.
For more information, to purchase tickets for the gala and dinner with Glenn Beck, or to become a sponsor, visit Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s website at www.lifeandhopeaward.com.
Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network was established by the surviving family members of Terri Schiavo to protect the medically vulnerable. It has communicated with and supported more than 1,500 families, and has been involved in hundreds of cases since Terri’s death. Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network has received dozens of national awards including the Gerard Health Foundation Life Prizes Award for its efforts in protecting the value and dignity of the profoundly brain injured.