Legacies of Terri Schiavo, Robert Schindler Inspire My Family

Opinion   |   Bobby Schindler   |   Aug 31, 2011   |   11:35AM   |   Washington, DC

LifeNews.com Note:  Bobby Schindler is the brother of Terri Schiavo and he and his family now work for Terri’s Life & Hope Network to help disabled and incapacitated patients like her. The anniversary of the death of his father, Robert Schindler, was earlier this week.

The passing of both Terri and my father is what helps inspire my family and the work we do at Terri’s Life & Hope Network to continue fighting for our most vulnerable every day.

My father was a man of incredible strength, and loved his family so much that he essentially gave up his life for Terri, doing everything he could possibly do to try and care of her. He would have done the same for any one of us. With so much attention on Terri’s case, my dad showed the world, with remarkable strength, what it means to love without condition.

What I admired most about my dad was that even following Terri’s horrific death, he had the fortitude to keep fighting for others, dedicating the remainder of his life to help fight for the lives of others, not wanting any family to have to experience what his family experienced with Terri.

As you know, Terri’s Life & Hope Network’s mission, first and foremost, is to provide resources and support to those with cognitive disabilities, the elderly and countless others that are facing life threatening situations due to the threat of not receiving adequate health care and medical treatment. In the six years since we began advocating for others we have been involved in several hundreds of cases.

Specifically, this year we have either supported or have been directly involved in close to a hundred situations with families who needed help to protect a loved one from the threat of an inhumane death by the actions of others.

For example, we just had a case where a daughter was advocating for her mother. The mother was doing very well, living on her own, but dealing with some dementia. Sadly, the daughter’s, sister placed their mother in a nursing home and because of this, her mother began to deteriorate. The daughter, who contacted us, feared that her sister was taking the steps to end her mother’s life in order to make claim of her mother’s estate. After several conversations we were able to use our resources to recommend an attorney for the daughter so she can take the necessary steps to take over the care of her mother, so she would be out of harm’s way.

These situations of our elderly, cognitively disabled, those suffering from Alzheimer’s and others in similar situations where life is constantly at risk of being taken prematurely is only becoming more frequent.

The horror stories we hear reveals just how prevalent imposed death has become in our society. This is why we believe education is so valuable. Educating our youth, our future attorneys and medical professionals, our clergy and even the average person on this threat facing our vulnerable is vitally important.

In fact, since Terri’s Life & Hope Network has been established in 2006, we have spoken in 44 states, over 150 cities, at 29 universities, colleges, and Medical Schools and in 9 countries abroad, which includes addressing members of Parliament in Canada and Australia.

Clearly this is an issue that is only going to get worse. Because of the Terri’s horrible experience, we are fortunate to be put in the position to help others. With God’s graces, we will continue to do that.