I HAD THE HONOR TO TESTIFY AND PROUDLY WAS THE VOICE FOR MY BROTHER AND ALL SPECIAL NEEDS INDIVIDUALS IN TEXAS. PASSING THIS LAW MEANT MY BROTHER’S DEATH WAS NOT IN VAIN, AND HIS LEGACY WOULD LIVE FOREVER WHILE SPECIAL NEEDS TEXANS WOULD RECEIVE THEIR FAIR CHANCE AT LIFE WHEN IT COMES TO ORGAN TRANSPLANTS.
Viva Babe Kathleen’s advocacy is changing laws and changing lives! Kathleen is the Executive Director of a non-profit, Senior Life Midland, and was nominated by her colleague, Tracy. Tracy says, “Kathleen has elevated this organization to extraordinary heights. She guided Senior Life Midland through the hardest [COVID] days with diligence to ensure that local homebound seniors continue to receive a daily noon-time meal.”
She’s also a fierce advocate for people with special needs! “Kathleen was born the baby of 4 siblings, but it was her older brother, Daniel, who she was closest to,” Tracy says. “Daniel was two years older than Kathleen and was born with Down syndrome. They shared many wonderful memories and had a very special relationship.”
Daniel suffered many years from renal failure. Tracy says, “He was denied a kidney transplant because he was special needs. Kathleen always knew something was not right with Daniel’s outcome.” Daniel passed away in Easter 2015.
“In 2020, while facing her own health issues, Kathleen enlisted the help of her State Representative to see if there was any type of solution to help combat discrimination of life-saving transplants based on special needs,” Tracy says. They got it done! HB 119, aka ‘Daniel’s Law,’ was passed in 2021, “making it illegal for special individuals, like Daniel, to be discriminated against based solely on their disability.”
Kathleen says, “I had the honor to testify and proudly was the voice for my brother and all special needs individuals in Texas. Passing this law meant my brother’s death was not in vain, and his legacy would live forever while special needs Texans would receive their fair chance at life when it comes to organ transplants.”
Kathleen’s not done yet! She’s working to pass this legislation across the USA.
Kathleen shares a quote from Audrey Hepburn, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”