Thanks so much for being the speaker for us today at the SSCD noon lecture. Jessica, Peter, Victoria, Katy, and the rest of us are forever in your debt.
You made a major impact on our thinking, and it will continue to pay forward for those who see the video of your lecture. You are allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you and your life in such a beautiful way, Dawn. Crisp and clear.
E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH
Vanderbilt University and VA-GRECC
Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center
Thank you to all those who came out yesterday to listen to Dawn speak! Her presentation was incredibly moving, and challenged many of us to expand our sense of duty to protect the dignity of life. If you were unable to attend, we are working on making the full discussion available to you online.
Victoria, Alex, Katy, and Kelly
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Catholic Students
We were so happy to welcome Dawn Parkot to campus the other night. Her story was inspiring, and she offered some enlightening numbers on disability-based abortions in the US. Thank you Dawn for all you do! Let’s remember as a pro-life community to fight for the rights of all the unborn, including those with prenatal diagnoses. - From: Georgetown Right to Life
In a talk titled “What is Ableism?” Dawn Parkot, a speaker and disability rights advocate, spoke about the connections between the pro-life movement and disability. Parkot was born with cerebral palsy, a neural condition that affects motor function. Parkot studied computer science and mathematics at the University of Notre Dame.
The talk focused on the ways the disabled community is discriminated against in the United States, the high abortion rate of fetuses with genetic disorders and Parkot’s own story of living a full, meaningful life. - From: Katrina Schmidt a writer for "The Hoya"
Dawn, My name is Megan Lee and I was at your presentation at CMU today. First of all, your story is so inspiring! I work with severely disabled kids as an aid and really love my job. My kids are what have inspired me to go on to study pediatric physical therapy and hope to one day specialize in neurological disorders. As part of the exercise science undergrad program at Pitt we have to pick an issue and give a presentation on why its right or wrong and its effect on society. I choose to study the Ashley Treatment (I was the one who asked you the question haha) and was wondering if there was any way you could respond over email on what you think of the Ashley Treatment as a disabled person? As part of the project we have to use three personal testimonies about our issue and I would really love to get your point of view. I understand your really busy however, so if you don't have time no worries. Once again, your presentation was truly inspiring and I really appreciate that you took the time to come to Pittsburgh.
Best, Megan Lee
This week was an "Edge Night" for your children. As previously mentioned, Edge is catechesis in a youth ministry format. The topic we covered was the dignity and sanctity of human life.
The kids were also privileged to hear from a special guest parishioner and motivational speaker, Dawn Parkot. Dawn was born with cerebral palsy and cannot walk or speak on her own. She used her specialized computer to tell the kids her life story and the pro-life work she does to defend human life at all stages and forms. The kids enjoyed listening to her and asking her questions. The kids were truly amazed and were inspired by the fact that someone with such disabilities can live a happy and fulfilling life, accomplish great things, and also impact so many so positively.
To continue the conversation at home consider asking the kids:
1.) How would you describe the Church's teaching on human life?
2.) What keeps the world from seeing life as sacred?
3.) What could we do as a family to more firmly stand up for the right to life?
Middle School Faith Formation Coordinator
Hi Dawn, I wanted to thank you for the inspirational and informative talk you gave at RCIA. I was awed by your presentation and terrific sense of humor. God bless you for sharing your knowledge and perseverance with us all.
All The Best,
We can't thank you enough for the wonderful presentation you gave us Sunday. You're an inspiration and if that didn't teach about our call to holiness, we don't know what would. Please think about doing it again for next year's class. With love & admiration, Marge & Dave
I just wanted to let you know that her presentation to me was very moving. I had a chance to work with disabled students in the Best Buddies program at my high school. They taught me a few things and I taught them some stuff as well. I believe that having a disability is no reason to be looked down upon. They are normal people like you and I but may have a different. Anyone who is willing to achieve a goal no matter your race, or disability and have the motivation to do so can and will succeed. Aborting a disabled child who may become something great, and achieve something none of us may not have achieved in a million years.
From: Kristen Arciero
Hello Dawn, I wanted to thank you for such an inspiring talk this morning. You really helped me to think about issues that I tend to avoid. You are very focused and thanks for sharing your life’s experiences with me and the others in our group. I will look forward to seeing you in church. I learned a lot this morning. I appreciate that very much.
Hey Dawn, I wasn't able to see the whole speech, but I did send a couple comments from others who had seen the whole speech. I sent those to Dennis. Could you contact him and have him send a copy of those to you. These are better than anything I could write up.
Erik Whittington Director, Rock for Life
Dawn, It was a pleasure to meet you and your parents. I know that the kids that attended were very blessed to hear what you had to share. You made a huge impression on many of them. Let's stay in touch and thank you for the kind words :)
Erik Whittington Executive Director, Youth Outreach American Life League
Dawn, Thank you so much for emailing me your article. I am going to send it out in Terri's next e-Newsletter.
I am sorry to hear about your struggles, in particular the Catholic Church. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed our family has been with many of the local clergy and our nations Bishops. Very few supported my family's battle to help Terri.
As you know, there is a lethal prejudice by many in our country towards the disability community and that is why it is so important you are willing and have the courage to speak out against what is happening - you are truly an inspiration.
Please stay in touch and thank you again for the article you wrote on my sister.
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation
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