Sarah Palin to Headline First Gala for Terri Schiavo Foundation

National   |   Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network   |   Feb 8, 2013   |   1:34PM   |   Philadelphia, PA

The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is delighted to announce that Moe & Sana Maraachli will receive the 2013 Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Award at the first Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network Award Gala on Friday, April 5, in Philadelphia.

In 2011, an international controversy erupted over Joseph Maraachli (Baby Joseph, right) after Canadian physicians refused to perform a tracheotomy, calling the procedure invasive and futile. This would have ultimately led to Joseph’s imposed death.

The Maraachlis courageously fought to have Joseph, who was diagnosed with a neurologic disorder called Leigh’s disease, transferred to the United States, contending that a tracheotomy would extend his life and allow him to die at home. After several months and efforts by hundreds of thousands of supporters, Joseph was transferred to a Catholic hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, where his parents secured the procedure to extend his life for several months, until he died on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, at home.

“We honor and celebrate the Maraachlis, a very humble and private family who bravely defended the life of their son at his weakest hour. Instead of allowing physicians to impose what they insisted was best for Joseph—death—his parents passionately fought for their child’s precious gift of life,” said Bobby Schindler, Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. “May God bless them for their courage.”

The honor will be awarded during the organization’s 2013 Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network Gala held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on Friday, April 5. We are honored that Governor Sarah Palin will deliver the keynote address. The gala follows a public mass, celebrated by His Excellency Archbishop Charles Chaput at 5pm at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Please visit www.lifeandhope.com to learn more about the award and gala, and how you can be part of this special night.

About the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Award

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The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Award was established in 2013 to honor an individual or family that defended the life of a loved one against overwhelming odds. The award is named after Terri Schindler Schiavo to remember one who, despite the fact that she was unable to speak for herself, represented a grace and a dignity that made countless others want to help save her life. Terri’s life and legacy continue to live on, as our nation is now aware of the immediate threat placed upon the hundreds of thousands of persons with cognitive disabilities. This award honors those families that have stood up for their own “Terri” so that their loved one wouldn’t face the same fate.

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 1,000 families, and has been involved in hundreds of cases since Terri’s death. Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network was the recipient of the Gerard Health Foundation Life Prizes Award for its efforts in protecting the value and dignity of the profoundly brain injured.