On the evening of Saturday, February 22, I received a great honor. I was one of seven individuals presented with the Living Legacy Award by the Women's International Center(WIC). The awards dinner took place at the Crowne Plaza Hanalei Hotel in San Diego. Every year they give the award to women, and men who make a difference in the world. Because of my blog, and my advocacy for people with disabilities, I was given this award. My parents, my brother Bill, my sister Bibbi, and Ernie, my long-time caregiver were there to share in this moment
The other award recipients have done bigger things, than my limited efforts. But, this award shows that even small things can make a difference in the world. If one person reads my blog and is encouraged to better their life, or a person with a disability is helped by my advocacy, then I have made a difference. I hope to live up to this award. It has encouraged me to do more to help others. This award was not awarded to me out of pity for my disability, and was not awarded to me based on the fact that I have a disability. It was awarded because of my actions.
I congratulate the other recipients: Betty Beyster, Sylvia Earle, Ph.D, Kristen Farmer, Nadine George-Graves, Ph.D, Dorothy Dale-Kloss, and Marilyn Lane. Betty Beyster is a leading advocate for education among health care professionals, researchers, and scientists to encourage medical advances. Sylvia Earle is a world-renowned oceanographer, author and explorer. She was named Time Magazine's first Hero for the Planet and founded Mission Blue to save the oceans. Kristen Farmer is a pioneer of autism research and treatment, and founder of ACES, which helps autistic individuals reach their full potential. Nadine George-Graves is an author in African-American and Women's studies, performance, theater and dance history. Dorothy Dale Kloss, at the age of 92, is the oldest performing dancer, and proponent of health, wellness, and vitality. She entertained the crowd with her tap dancing. Marilyn Lane is a horsewoman who supports the use of horses to treat veterans with PTSD. It was an honor to be included among such a group of individuals.