by Steven Ertelt
February 7, 2008
St. Petersburg, FL (LifeNews.com) — The family of Terri Schiavo and a leading Catholic pro-life group have released details about their plans for the first-ever Terri’s Day. Observed on March 31, the day Terri succumbed from the painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death her former husband subjected her to, the day is one to honor her life and help others.
As LifeNews.com reported in December, Priests for Life and the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation announced the establishment of the "International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters."
The purpose of the day, the groups told LifeNews.com on Thursday, is to foster education, prayer, and activism regarding discrimination against the disabled.
They hope to help other disabled patients like Lauren Richardson and others in situations similar to what Terri and her family faced.
"No family should ever have to witness what my family witnessed, watching a loved one slowly dehydrate to death," Suzanne Vitadamo, Terri’s sister, told LifeNews.com.
"We want Terri’s day to remind us all that persons with disabilities are never burdens and should be treated with nothing but our unconditional love and compassion," she added.
The groups say the event isn’t limited to just pro-life advocates or disability rights activists, but to anyone with a heart for patients who deserve appropriate medical care and respect.
They hope participants in the day will pray, that local groups will conduct educational activities or get youth involved in essay contests or organize letter to the editor campaigns or writing letters to elected officials.
They also hope people will volunteer at their local hospital or hospice and will spend time with a disabled friend or loved one.
"Those of us who were with Terri will never forget her life and her death," Fr. Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, said.
"For the sake of all the vulnerable, it is critically important that those who never knew Terri likewise remember the lessons that God taught us through her," he concluded.