LGBTQ+ Stories

The power of personal stories to inspire and drive change is undeniable. Everyone has a story and we want to hear your voice. Share your story, today.

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Kelly Rice (they/them)  

Kelly Rice is a public health professional based in Illinois who works with older populations navigating the healthcare system.

My work is about how we ensure that people living with dementia are still able to embrace the pieces of life that bring them joy through end-of-life planning.

Deb Robertson  

Deb Robertson is a former social worker living with terminal cancer. She is advocating for the option of medical aid in dying in Illinois.

“After I was diagnosed with cancer, I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve advocated for others for so many years. Now, with aid in dying, I’m advocating for something that affects <b>me</b>.”

Thomas Reed Jackson  

Thomas Reed Jackson left a legacy of compassion and tenacity to the end-of-life care and options movement.

“We have to change the paradigm. We have to change our way of thinking, and we have to adopt the idea of a legacy.”

Ralph McFadden  

Ralph McFadden recounts working with gay men dying from HIV/AIDS at the height of the AIDS epidemic and shares his wishes for the end of life.

“It takes courage to die the way you want rather than die the way people think you ought to. For me, that’s dignity.”

Michael Saum (April 18 1980 - Aug. 6, 2020)  

Michael Saum, a terminally ill, transgender man, advocated to pass California’s End of Life Option Act in 2015.

“I think some people don’t understand that even though I look healthy, I’m suffering. I explain that it’s not what I look like, it’s how I feel.”

Dan Winter  

Dan (1959-2021) had early-stage Alzheimer’s and worked to raise awareness about the need for more compassionate ways to die with dementia.

“I’m not afraid of dying, but I am afraid of living with advanced dementia. I am still mentally capable and have documented my desire to avoid life-saving measures. Of course, I hope that I have more good years with meaningful quality in front of me. However, when that is no longer the case, I would like to die a natural and dignified death.”

Stephen May  

Stephen May passed away without the option of medical aid in dying due to a bureaucratic system to access the End of Life Option Act.

“If SB 380 had been in place, Stephen would have easily been able to receive the medication in time. He would not have had to spend his final days suffering as he did.”

Barbara Hammer  

Barbara Hammer (1939-2019) was a terminally-ill advocate in New York who worked to authorize medical aid in dying

"All of us, regardless of what we believe, deserve to die in a way that is consistent with our beliefs. My strong belief is in autonomy at the end."

Florrie Burke  

Florrie Burke continues to advocate for medical aid in dying in memory of her spouse, pioneering filmmaker and activist Barbara Hammer.

"I’m in my mid-70s and in relatively good health, but after watching Barbara die with needless suffering, the last thing I want to do when I die — as we all will do one day — is repeat her end-of-life experience."

John Forsgren  

John’s husband, Dan Winter, had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Dan attained control in his end-of-life journey and died peacefully.

“I know how lucky I am that Dan has chosen to deal with this diagnosis publicly. I’ve seen the struggle that people go through when they are forced by their partners or family members to keep secret the diagnosis of dementia—creating tension amidst greater chaos.”

Mary Klein  

Mary Klein (1948-2018) spent her final months courageously advocating for end of life options in Washington, DC.

A fundamental human right is control over our own bodies. That control is a critical aspect of freedom. All of us should be able to make our own path in life, including how we decide to end our journey.

Nothing advances our common cause of improving end-of-life care like real stories. Inspire others and drive change by sharing your story today.

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Tell Your Story

The power of personal stories is undeniable. Inspire others and drive change by sharing your story today. Join our network of storytellers to help educate and empower those seeking the best possible healthcare.

Share Your Story Today