Terri Schiavo’s Family Celebrates Her 40th Birthday, Hundreds Send Cards

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 3, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo’s Family Celebrates Her 40th Birthday, Hundreds Send Cards

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 3, 2003

Pinellas Park, FL (LifeNews.com) — Members of Terri Schiavo’s family celebrated her 40th birthday on Wednesday as supporters gathered outside of the Woodside Hospice building where she lives. Pro-life people from across the United States came to show their support for the woman who has become the focus of the national debate over euthanasia.

"The support for Terri has been overwhelming.  Our family is touched by the tremendous outpouring of love and encouragement for our daughter," said Terri’s mother, Mary Schindler.

According to Terri’s family, many supporters came bearing gifts and several hundred people sent Terri birthday cards and while others gave balloons and cupcakes.

Students from Margaret K. Lewis School in Panama City, Florida, also reached out to Terri.

Dozens of special needs students, many who have their own feeding tubes, learned they could send birthday wishes. Though they needed help from teachers and assistants to draw their cards and sign their names, that didn’t stop them from letting Terri know they care.

"So many of these are children with feeding tubes," says Susan Perry who works at the school.

Perry told WMBB-TV, "They are human beings just like Terri. They want her to understand they know what she’s going through, and if their feeding tubes were taken away from them they would go hungry. They just want to wish her a very happy birthday."

Some who came in person to support Terri brought special homemade items.

Jeanie Dicus of California brought a hand-crafted a quilt with lavender flowers and intricate needle-work for a gift. Cheryl Ford of Florida put together a collage of photos from people around the world who support the disabled woman and her plight.

Pamela Hennessy, a representative of Terri’s family, said it was comforting to know people "see Terri as a person and not an ‘issue.’"

"This gives us all pause to remember those amongst us who may not be able to speak for themselves — but who are still, very much part of our human race," Hennessy added.

Birthday cards are one of the few things Terri gets to see in her hospice room. According to Terri’s family, Michael Schiavo has prevented her from receiving flowers. However, the Schindler family is allowed to take cards and other gifts to her while the legal battle continues.

Birthday greetings for Terri can be sent to The Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, 4615 Gulf Boulevard, #104-103, St. Petersburg Beach, Florida 33706.

Related web sites:
Terri’s family – https://www.terrisfight.org