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October 2019

 

 

MARCA BRISTO DIES

PWD Lose Legendary Rights Champion

Well-respected disability pioneer Marca Bristo, born in New York, recently died of cancer at the age of 66. Bristo was a 23-year-old nurse living in Chicago, Ill., when a diving accident caused her permanent paralysis from the waist down. She went on to devote her life to championing disability rights.

Well-respected disability pioneer Marca Bristo, born in New York, recently died of cancer at the age of 66. Bristo was a 23-year-old nurse living in Chicago, Ill., when a diving accident caused her permanent paralysis from the waist down. She went on to devote her life to championing disability rights. In 1980, she founded Access Living in Illinois, only two years after her accident. The disability rights organization was dedicated to helping people in Chicago live independently and she only recently stepped down because of her illness. “She was an incredible lead- er,” said Judy Heumann, a dis- ability rights activist and close friend of Bristo, to the Chicago Tribune. “She was a vision- ary. She was undaunted by the word no. Marca acted on what she believed in. She spoke up and spoke out. What she needs to be remembered for is her vi- sion, her fortitude.”

 

 

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