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The Schindler Family—Terri Schiavo’s mother and siblings—are some of the finest people I know. Their indomitable fight to save Terri from a cruel and medically unnecessary slow dehydration—in the face of media smears and fury among some who went berserk over their desire to save Terri’s life—epitomized familial unconditional love and stalwart courage in the face of great adversity. That several year struggle destroyed father Bob Schindler’s health, and her death broke his heart. He died a few years ago.

But the family continues on, working quietly behind the scenes individually—and through their foundation, the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network—to help people who are fighting against a loved one suffering a similar fate. They remain white hot controversial figures in some quarters, but the pro life movement has now stepped forward with a big $100,000 Life Prize” award to the foundation. From the press release:

In 2005, the world watched as a young woman with disabilities was deprived of food and water by order of a judge. Her family has vowed to fight for the right to life of those vulnerable individuals with disabilities and as a result, “Terri’s Network” has become their safe haven amidst the pressures of the so-called “right to die” movement. More than 1,000 families have been helped by the organization through their national network of resources, support and medical facilities for the medically-dependent and now they are among the six recipients of $600,000 in prizes awarded for achieving significant progress in promoting the sanctity of human life and working to protect and preserve it...The Life Prizes winners were measured by their success in saving lives and selected for best demonstrating their leadership and progress in pro-life achievements through public advocacy, scientific research, legal action, outreach and public discourse activities.

What a splendid recognition of selflessness. Congratulations to all who contribute to the Network—and to Bobby, Susanne, Mary, and the abiding memory of Bob.

If you are interested in the details about other recipients, hit this link.

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