Grief Into Action

“It’s humbling to work with those great men and women whose actions speak volumes. I experienced this in a dramatic way early in my career following the tragic death of a colleague. My partner and I both felt the loss deeply, but while I sent condolences to her family and expressed heartfelt grief, he turned his grief into action. He flew to the family’s side, assisted with funeral arrangements, and established a scholarship to educate her child. He did all this quietly and without fanfare. His decisive actions put my expressions of sympathy to shame. This realization has shaped my view of management over 40 years and helped me to establish four core principles:

1. Do it — don’t just say it. Ever since my experience with the death of an assistant and friend, I’ve tried to show what I care about instead of just talking about it. Talk is cheap.

2. It’s all about people.

3. Meaning isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.

4. Talk doesn’t solve problems.”

Joel Peterson, Chairman.  Jet Blue Airways.


Grieving parents, Bruce and Denise Morcombes, were rewarded for their unrelenting dedication to child safety with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), Australia’s highest recognition.  Since the death of their son after being abducted in 2003, they have dedicated themselves to helping other children avoid the fate of their son.  In spite of their grief, they move forward spending ninety percent of their time over half of the year travelling from school to school and meeting education ministers throughout the country. Aside from their advocacy and awareness work, they have served as examples to many other grieving parents worldwide.  They have shown that even out of our darkest hours, a great deal of good can come from unthinkable grief.  paign-with-oam-in-queens-birthday-honours-list/story-fnihsrf2-1226661000560


Grieving mom, whose 14 year old son was repeatedly bullied at school for being Gay and Asian, is on a mission to get new anti-bullying laws in place in schools. She used the media attention to highlight the fact that what was happening to her son inside the school was a crime outside the school, but not inside the school. At his school, her son complained repeatedly about the bullying but nothing was done to stop it. She is committed to making sure that changes.  Specifically, she has proposed “Ayden’s Law” bullying and intimidation a criminal offense, increase bullying prevention outside of the school, and make it a statutory requirement for the government to publish an annual anti-bullying strategy.


Grieving mom, whose 13 weeks old infant died in the care of a provider not regulated, turns her grief into a mission of awareness and support for stronger child-care standards. Her home state is one of only eight states in the nation that allow family providers to care for up to six unrelated children, as well as any number of their own children, without a license. Providers are not required to pass background checks or get training on health, safety, safe sleeping practices or child development. The grieving mom is determined to transform Virginia’s child-care law. “I have to do this to change things to better the world.”


Grieving Sandy Hook Elementary School parents turned grief into action through the creation of Safe and Sound. Safe and Sound is a working group that is developing safety guidelines not just for their own school district, but for schools across the country  .


An Academic Turns Grief Into a Crime-Fighting Tool.  Grieving mom and leader of Honduras’s largest university turns her grief into a public war with drug cartels and their grip on the nation’s institutions.  Many credit her with inspiring a call for change in Honduras, a country of eight million that has rapidly turned into one of the most violent areas in the world. Recent crackdowns on drug trafficking in Mexico and Colombia have driven criminals here. Poverty is rampant, shorelines are vast and impunity prevails. “I am going to continue this fight,” she said in a recent interview, “even if I lose my life along the way.”


Grieving mom turns grief into a fight for peace, and into the founding of the Dorchester-based “Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.”  Her son was killed in 1993,   as he walked one afternoon into a teens against gang violence event. It was her son’s death, she said, that woke her up. She channeled her pain and anger in a way that would be more about rebuilding the community. The Peace Institute focuses on primary prevention, to stop the seeds of violence before they grow, and peace education as a way to stem violence.


In the midst of unimaginable pain, grieving mom of two boys, 6 and 8, who were killed by poison gas from a faulty heater, called on the State Government to introduce laws to prevent other families from having to face her pain. Her unstoppable commitment to prevent other deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning has led her to start a foundation in her boys’ names, “Chase and Tyler Foundation”, to raise awareness, and to recommend that the Real Estate Institute implement checks of appliances every 2 years in rental agreements at the expense of landlords. She has also been at the forefront of a community wide public education and awareness campaign on the “real and at home” dangers of carbon monoxide.


Grieving parents of a straight A’s student with dreams of going to Harvard Law School who committed suicide fought social media giant corporations over laws which block families from accessing minors’ accounts. The companies did not allow parents to access their children’s account because of privacy laws, so the these parents put aside their grief and pushed straight ahead for a change in legislation which would help other families whose children tragically take their own lives not go through what they went through in their quest for information about their own son. Their plea to social media was simple – grieving parents must have access.  Thanks to their effort, new laws are being debated and voted on nationwide. Legislation which will allow parents and legal guardians in the state to access Internet accounts of deceased children.


Grieving families, whose loved ones were victims of knife crimes, turned their grief into action by creating and raising funds for a Trust to help other families who have suffered from similar crimes. The Trust was set up in 2006, in memory of a South Shields teen, who was stabbed to death on his 16th birthday. It was set up to offer help and support to families affected by knife crime and to raise awareness among youngsters of the dangers of carrying a blade. The Trust has also campaigned tirelessly for tougher sentences for those found guilty of using knives. “People don’t seem to realize how lives can be devastated by someone making a decision to carry a knife.”


Dad who endure  the worst nightmare any parent could ever imagine happen to him worried little about his pain and instead pushed forward to get new laws created so other children would be protected from the tragedy his Jessica faced. His 9 year old daughter was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, held captive for several days, raped and murdered by a neighbor with a history of sex crimes. Since his daughter’s death, he has traveled the country advocating for new stronger laws in each state, and to date, 45 states have passed “Jessie’s Law.” The law includes stricter rules for those convicted of sex offenses against children under 12 like GPS tracking and mandatory minimum sentencing. He thinks about her every day, but through his efforts knows she is making a difference for many other children nationwide.


Grieving family, whose son – a company commander was killed in action, turned their grief into something positive: a home for soldiers without family in Israel. The Hillman family established a foundation and began drawing up plans and raising money for a house that would provide a comfortable home experience to lone soldiers during their service and for a short period afterward. As a commander, their son was particularly sensitive to the needs of lone soldiers – those without family in Israel.


Grieving wife, whose husband collapsed and died from a common heart defect, affecting one in 50 people, turns her grief into a cause. She launched a race to raise funds for a foundation which focuses on the prevention of premature deaths related to bicuspid aortic valve disease (BAVD). “The tough part is that it is such a common disease, yet nobody has ever heard of it,” she said. “We want to get the word out.”


Grieving families of Pan Am flight 103, a Pan Am transatlantic flight from London to New York City that was destroyed by a bomb on the 21st of December 1988 – killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members, turned their grief into action with the creation and passage of the Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990-a key milestone in the improvement of global aviation safety.


Spouses, parents and children of the nearly 3,000 victims have endured constant reminders over the last decade of the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001.  In 2007, a RAND Corp. study concluded that relatives of 9/11 victims had amassed “a powerful voice” in Washington. Forming groups and organizing online, they were “remarkably successful in pressuring the U.S. Congress to establish a commission to investigate the 9/11 attacks, getting the White House to approve it, and then ensuring that the commission’s most important recommendations were enacted into law,” it said. Soon after her mom Judy Lemack died aboard the first hijacked plane AA Flight 11 to hit the World Trade Center, Carie Lemack vowed “to make sure it never happens again” and launched a career fighting terrorism. In 2009, in Amman, Jordan, scene of a horrific 2005 hotel bombing, she co-founded the Global Survivors Network. The group is circulating her award-winning short film, “Killing in the Name,” which sends a powerful message about terrorism’s impact on victims’ families. It was nominated in 2010 for an Oscar.  Lemack said she’s only trying to “live a life my mom would be proud of, and to make sure that others don’t suffer the way that she and thousands of others have.”  Lee Hanson lost his son Peter, daughter-in-law Sue and 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter Christine, the youngest victim of the Sept. 11th tragedy, on UAL Fl. 175 which was the second plane to crash into the World Trade Center Towers.  Hanson has spent part of his retirement traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, telling the U.S. Attorney General of his objection to civilian trials for terrorists. Brokenhearted at the death of her college sweetheart, 42 year old Jeffrey Coombs who died aboard AA Fl. 11, Christie Coombs was struck by the outpouring of kindnesses big and small. A freelance journalist, she sensed that she “needed to put all that negative energy from 9/11 into something positive.” She beckoned her kids – Matthew, 13, Meaghan, 11, and Julia, 7 – to “pay it forward, do something good for other people because of what people have done for us.” Soon, donations poured in for a huge yard sale and auction for the Jeffrey Coombs Memorial Foundation.  In one morning that November, the family raised $50,000 for families of immigrants who died working in the Windows on the World restaurant atop the Trade Center’s north tower and to other 9/11 victims’ families facing financial predicaments. Since 2007, the Coombses have also held holiday parties for families of U.S. troops overseas.


Grieving mom, whose two daughters died in a car crash while driving a recalled rental car vehicle that had been rented to them, channelled her grief into a 10 year battle to pass the recalled car rental ban. “Nobody should have to endure the loss of a loved one because a rental car company didn’t bother to get an unsafe, recalled car repaired,” the grieving mom said after recounting the circumstances of her daughter’s crash to the Senate hearing committee. “This is simple to fix. This is do-able now. Please pass this law.” The bill, named after her daughters, bars the rental or sale of cars that are “subject to a safety recall.”


The grieving parents of a teenager who died during a school rugby match turned their grief into a call for the introduction of  a new law to prevent any more fatalities. The law is aimed at safeguarding children from a concussion sustained during sports. The coroner ruled that it was the impact of two tackles within four minutes of each other that had caused the ‘second impact syndrome’ in the young player, leading to a fatal swelling of the brain. There are already tight rules in over 40 states in the US to ensure that a player does not continue to play if concussion is suspected. Our son need not have died as a result of his injuries. “We need something positive so that no other family goes through this, it could so easily be prevented.”


In the midst of grieving the loss of their grandmother who was killed while crossing a busy intersection, family and friends engaged and brought large community support to the City Hall meeting to demand safety changes at intersection. With the objective of preventing other deaths from happening and other families from having to go through the pain they were forced to faced, they demanded that the council install more lights and increase safety procedures at the intersection where their grandma was killed, and where other accidents had previously taken place.


Grieving dad, whose disabled son Jonathan died while in state custody, turned his grief into a new law.  Since 2007, under “Jonathan’s Law”, state reports of abuse and neglect were provided to families.  Recently, Governor Cuomo signed new legislation that expands on “Jonathan’s Law” and adds further protection to families of abused disabled. The new law was also prompted in part by a series of New York Times articles that exposed allegations of widespread abuse in state facilities. ‘‘This bill is extremely important in ending attempts by New York state and private providers from intimidating parents and legal guardians from even going to the police or an attorney with documents. . . that abuse or a crime was committed against their disabled loved ones,’’ said Michael, Jonathan’s dad.


In the midst of their grief, parents of a 4 year old whose identity was stolen after death, vowed to help other families going through the very painful grief over the death of their child to have to also experience this theft.  Through their tireless advocacy, they got legislators to introduce the “Alexis Agin Identity Theft Protection Act.” The legislation seeks to stop the identity theft and tax fraud associated with the Death Master File (DMF) by better protecting the privacy of deceased individuals.


Grieving families, in the midst of the unimaginable pain faced upon the loss of a child, set out to warn neighbors and other residents to shun cheap unlicensed pest control services that pose a public health risk. They demand that the government leaders bring attention to this problem and that they properly and swiftly punish any company or individual who misuses pesticides or is not licensed to handle it in an effort to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families.


Grieving family of teenager killed in bike accident fights for laws to prevent intrusive media coverage of grieving families. They do not want other grieving families to endure further pain by what they had to go through themselves.  Media coverage included the broadcast and publication of images of their deceased teenage daughter lying on the ground; images that were obtained and published without the family’s knowledge and using long lenses and helicopters. Their hope is that their effort helps other families grieve in peace without this unnecessary additional pain and harassment.


Grieving family, whose 18 year old cheerful son died after drinking a combination of hard liquor and energy shots, have turned their pain into activism to help others.  They have embarked on an aggressive campaign to engage government and energy drink companies to clearly warn consumers of the dangers in combining alcohol with caffeine so other families will not have to go through what they have been through.


Inspired by grief, couple fight for DUI prevention. Grieving parents, whose 24 years old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, turned their grief into action to prevent others from having to experience the unbearable pain of losing a child.  They got the legislature to pass a bill that triples the sentence for drunk drivers that kill.  They also joined police on DUI patrols and went to see how bartenders keep drunken patrons from driving. Their commitment to prevent other DUI deaths lead them to launch a foundation to provide rides home for drunken bar/restaurant patrons.


Inspired by the grief over the death of his son and wife, former army officer decides to turn his tragedy into something positive for the children and families of his schools district. His lost his star linebacker son when he committed suicide after he was suspended from school. Shortly after, his wife lost her will to live from her grief over the loss of their son. Since then, the grieving father and husband has been unstoppable in his fight for changes to what he sees as overly harsh punishments.  He led a 40 member committee that took an in-depth look at district discipline process and has made recommendations for significant changes that he hopes will help prevent others from going through his pain.


Grieving parents, whose 7 weeks old son died while sleeping in husband’s arms, push for a new law calling for more compassionate response to infant deaths. As they were in shock over the death of their son, homicide detectives interviewed them for four hours and accusing them of killing him. Grieving mom turned her grief into activism and aside from joining the board of Florida’s Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), they threw their full support behind this new law that aims at training first responders and law enforcement officials to respond more compassionately to the unexplained death of an infant and makes it mandatory for medical examiners to conduct an autopsy within 24 hours of the death of infants under 1 year of age.


Grieving parents, whose 5 year old son died in his sleep, had to endure more pain as they waited over 7 months for the state’s medical examiner to provide them with an autopsy report that would tell them why their healthy baby boy would suddenly and unexpectedly die.  They turned their intense grief and frustration with the cruel inefficiencies of the medical examiner’s office into a call for action.  They felt strongly that other grieving parents should not have to go through this additional unnecessary suffering on top of the intense pain that comes from the loss of a child.


Still grieving mother, whose children and grandchild died while driving an out of control car whose accelerator was stuck, honors their memory by speaking loudly in support of rental car recall bill that would keep rental cars with recalls off the road. She wants to prevent other families from facing this type of senseless tragedy in the future. While federal law bans franchised car dealers from selling or leasing a new car that’s under a safety recall, nothing stops them from loaning, renting or selling used cars where the repairs named in the recall haven’t been done.


Grieving mom, whose 2 year old son was killed by an impaired driver while the family was having dinner at a local restaurant, turns her pain into activism by launching the ‘Justice for Geo’ campaign to gain widespread support for increasing the minimum mandatory sentence to 5 years for impaired driving causing death and serious injury. She knows this is a long term process, but is committed for the long haul hoping to prevent other families from experiencing the needless and painful tragedy her family has endured.


Grieving mom, whose son committed suicide with a “suicide kit” he bought over the internet, channels her grief into bringing attention to the issue of male suicide rates and the prevalence of websites assisting suicides to the country’s leaders. She wants leaders to take


action. She feels strongly that “The issue of these overseas suicide websites is becoming unavoidable. A quick online search will give you hundreds of ways to kill yourself and also sell the equipment to help you do it.” Grieving mom has also set up an online help center where she talks to boys and men privately and anonymously about their depression and risk of suicide. One of the reasons for the center is that “Depression in men looks very different – they close up, become aggressive and uncommunicative. It often goes unnoticed until it is too late. Suicide is so taboo – no one is prepared to discuss it.”


Grieving parents, whose 7 year old boy was killed by a car when he was running home to a Father’s Day celebration, are determined to turn the tragedy into something constructive. “I don’t want another family to lose a child like I just lost a child,” grieving father tells council members. With their grief still raw, the grieving parents engaged their community to join them in pleading with council members to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families by adding overdue safety measures, and traffic enforcement.


The mother, whose 8 months old son died from carbon monoxide poisoning, is turning her grief into a call for action on the need for mandatory safety checks for secondhand vehicles. “Every second-hand car that’s sold by someone should have checks.” The grieving mom was overcome by fumes coming from her used car and crashed.  Her daughter and baby boy were also overcome by the fumes. The examination of the car found “significant wear” to the exhaust and seals on the car, causing fumes to drift into the cabin.


Grieving family, whose teenage son died after being hit by a stranger, has used their grief to call for stronger government measures to curb alcohol-fueled violence. They want to prevent other senseless deaths, and are calling for more police in the streets and a shocking anti-alcohol campaign to force a dramatic shift in the community’s drinking culture. They want the campaign to be funded from alcohol sales taxes. “Alcohol affects not just young people going out at night. It goes through the community at many, many levels and the cost to society is measured in the billions per year,” grieving father emphasized to the Wentworth Courier.


Grieving dad’s Father Day wish: Extend parents’ work leave upon the loss of a child.  The grieving father, whose 18 year old daughter died in a car crash, is on a mission to help grieving families have more time to deal with the unbearable pain that comes from the loss of a child.  He founded organization that has gathered national support behind the changing of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA),which is the law that allows people to take up to 12 weeks off of work for the birth of a child or to care for a sick loved one, to allow grieving parents to take up to 12 weeks off from work.  He wants others to understand that after the loss of a child most parents get 3-5 days off before having to return to work, but “we will never get back to “normal.”


Grieving son, who found his elderly mother battered to death, is channeling his grief to get justice for his mom and turning his pain into a positive for the many charities his late mom supported. He is suing her killer in court with all the proceeds from the court case to go the charities his mom supported. He was very close to his mom, and nothing will bring her back or prevent the horrible death she had to endure, but by seeking damages from her killer and donating it to her chosen charities – he is honoring his mom.


Bereaved moms, whose 26 and 18 year old sons were killed separately in high-power motorcycle accidents within weeks of obtaining their license, have channeled their grief into activism. They have been advocating for stricter motorcycle licensing laws for the past two years, and started a petition to bring awareness to inadequate licensing procedures. Their efforts have made an impact with recent changes to the driver license reform package, and they are still fighting for more changes; including having the Government revisit the types of motorcycles available to novice drivers.


A mom, who lost her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome, has turned her grief into a unstoppable campaign to have government change federal child care regulations. She has told her story and thrown her support on behalf of herself and other grieving parents behind the new proposed health and safety guidelines for child care settings. Guidelines that would include fingerprint and background checks of providers.


Grieving parents, whose teen was killed after being punched at a New Year’s party, are demanding severe new laws to punish those who punch first and ask questions later. Their children’s killer walked but they are now on a campaign to avoid that for others by raising support for the creation of a new “First Punch Law” with tougher punishment, and reduced nightclub hours. Grieving mom:  “We do not want other families to go through what we have been through.”


Grieving Mom, who lost her 11 year old daughter as a result of a medical oversight, channels her pain and grief into a mission to eliminate lethal medical errors for others. She focuses on a national campaign to bring support to “Leah’s Law” which would require continuous monitoring.  She knows her daughter would expect no less from her to help prevent this senseless tragedy for others. She wants others to know that this is the 3rd leading cause of deaths in this country.


Inspired by grieving parents and music star, Bon Jovi, NJ Governor signed “Good Samaritan” drug overdose bill. In addition to giving immunity from arrest and prosecution for drug possession to those who call 911 to report overdoses, the bill makes naloxone, a remedy for overdoses, available to spouses, parents or guardians who could be taught to administer the drug in an emergency. Grieving mom, whose 20 year old son died from an overdose, felt relief in knowing that “my son is somewhere up above making this happen.” She awoke to find him dead. She later learned he had swallowed 10 OxyContin pills he didn’t want police to find during a traffic stop. The grieving mom shared, “I had to make a positive out of a very, very tragic situation. This has been a coping strategy for me.”


Amid grief and despair, man pushes for tougher Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws. A Seattle man who lost his parents in a drunken-driving crash that also left his wife and child critically injured talks about the need for tougher DUI laws. Speaking out against drunken driving and the need to strengthen the state’s laws, Schulte said such crashes are “something that’s preventable.” Grieving son shared: “It’s hit our family harder than it has most, but it could happen to anyone and we’re just here to say it shouldn’t happen to anyone. We are hoping that this horrible event can result in some positive outcomes.”


Grieving family, whose 17 year old daughter died from Ewing’s Sarcoma, turned their grief into activism to have drug trials law changed.  Their daughter was denied access to treatment by potentially life-saving drugs because of her age. “We were just sitting there watching our daughter get weaker and weaker, knowing there is something out there she could have had and it just seems totally wrong to me.” The family wants age restrictions for clinical trials to be lifted. Currently fewer than 20% of 15 to 24-year-olds who have cancer are on one.


Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teenagers in the state, and parents who have lost children spread the message. Grieving couple, whose 16 year old son died in a car crash, have taken their grief on the road and on a mission of safety.  They created a non-profit, “Buckle Up For Bobby”, and are now working part-time so they can dedicate the bulk of their time as safety advocates in the hopes of saving other children’s lives.  They have traveled to all the corners of the state speaking to children, parents and anyone else who’ll listen about how wearing seat belts can save lives in car crashes.


Grieving mom’s 18 year old daughter died when her car drifted into oncoming traffic. She had been texting before the crash and wasn’t buckled in. The mom has turned her grief into action.  Action to prevent other teens and their families from future texting tragedies. She has taken her mission to legislators and been a vocal advocate for Meridian’s 2010 texting ban.


Grieving husband, whose wife died when her car collided with a train, has turned his grief into activism by raising awareness to the need for the safety of rail and road users to be placed above the cost of improvements. “If Jane’s passing is to have any meaning, it will be that, in future, rail and road users will be placed at the forefront of those in the rail industry whose responsibility it is to ensure the general public’s safety at level crossings…Safety – not cost – must be the top priority. The cost of any life is incalculable.” The husband’s call for action has already seen new rail safety measures put into place.


Grief-stricken mom, whose 39 year old son was killed during a Taser confrontation with troopers last year, turns her grief into activism for statewide Taser reform. The grieving mother told lawmakers looking at tightening regulations for police Taser use that he would still be alive if troopers had called his mental health counselor to the scene. She said a car wreck years ago left him with a brain injury and seizures that probably made it tough for him to understand their commands. She joins other advocates in wanting a statewide policy on police Taser use, including officer training about people suffering from mental health issues and tighter restrictions on when officers can deploy them. “When you think of other incidents with Tasers – it’s not a name that it affects. It’s a person.”

Grieving parents, whose 20 year old son died from meningitis while at college, turned their disbelief and grief into getting a law passed that requires universities to provide all students with information about meningococcal disease and hepatitis B, and the availability of vaccines. Their son was valedictorian of his class at Jefferson High School. Grieving parents never imagined that something like this could happen to them or their son, and hope their efforts to raise awareness and education on meningitis on college campuses will help save others.


Grieving Mom, whose year-old daughter died when backed over by a car, turns her grief into action as an advocate for new safety regulations. She lost her daughter when her husband backed up in her driveway and did not see their daughter.  She is joining other safety advocates in Washington seeking legislation to prevent other families from facing the tragedy they have had to face.


In spite of the loss of her son and a controversial jury verdict, grieving mom of Florida teen Trayvon Martin pours her heart and support behind efforts to repeal “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws so other parents don’t have to go through what her and her family have been going through because of this law.


Grieving mom, whose 19 week old baby was stillborn and told she could not register the birth of her baby boy, turns her grief into a call for change. For her and other moms, a birth certificate would have meant that he existed. In the midst of her grief, she launched a petition to change the country’s birth register laws.                                                                                                 


To make sure everyone knows child abuse and family don’t mix, some of Madison Stewart’s relatives are donning t-shirts with a message they hope to spread: Stop Child Abuse. “There’s child abuse out there and it can happen to you,” Patricia Noe said. “It’s really rare for a family of survivors to go to the extent that they say, ‘I can’t help what happened to my child or my loved one, but I want to help others,'” said Laura Slade Hudson, executive director for the S.C. Crime Victims’ Council. “That’s a very selfless thing to do,” she said.–Productive-Grief


After 2 year old toddler’s death, Connecticut grieving family channels grief into action. Their two year, two month and two day old son, Joshua Seth, was ill with a simple fever when he suddenly died.  After his death, the family learned he had Adrenoleukodystrophy  (ALD), a fat metabolism disorder that, if detected, can be controlled with diet and medication. Since that day, the grieving family has worked tirelessly to get a bill passed through the Connecticut legislature requiring a simple screening test. The goal is to have newborn screening for ALD added to the approximately 40 other diseases that are routinely screened for at birth.


David Arquette Turns His Grief Into Action. The Scream star explains how the loss of his mother led him to become a passionate advocate for breast cancer research and screening. David is especially passionate about his involvement with the Keep A Breast Foundation. “They’re using humor to raise awareness and educate people about getting themselves checked for breast cancer,” he explains.



Grieving principal and father, whose 15 year old son took his own life at home, channels his grief into action by becoming the public front man for a new bill requiring teacher training in suicide prevention. He is trying to help other families avoid the pain his family has endured through his strong support and lobbying efforts to create a new law that would require suicide prevention and mental health awareness training for all teachers as part of their teaching license renewal. It never gets easier, but he believes in the purpose.


Grieving husband and member of Parliament, whose wife died from ovarian cancer, is inspired by his grief to propose a new bill that would allow doctors to use experimental therapies even if there is no proof they work. His bill is aimed at encouraging new therapies by allowing doctors to try them, including those lacking evidence of effectiveness. “It still takes an estimated average of 17 years for only 14 percent of new scientific discoveries to enter day-to-day clinical practice,” he said. “This is not acceptable.” Ultimately, he said, it’s about giving patients and doctors new opportunities in the future. “This bill is not going to cure cancer, but it will encourage those who will.”


Sixteen years after her son was shot dead on the sometimes mean streets of Germantown, Greene, 64, has turned her grief into action. She has founded the EMIR Healing Center, a non-profit group that provides grief counseling for those who have lost family and friends to violence.


During the half-century that the Harvard Business School {HBS} has admitted women, only the family of Dr. James S.C. Chao can claim four daughters among those graduates. On October 12, 2012, the Chao family announced its intention to honor that legacy – as well as the life of its late matriarch, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao – with a $40 million gift to the School to support student fellowships and to build a new executive education center, The Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, on the campus.  “Throughout our formative years, our mother always emphasized our responsibility to contribute to society and being kind and generous to others,” said Elaine L. Chao, a former U.S. Labor Secretary. Dr. James Chao and Mrs. Ruth Mulan Chu Chao started various foundations decades ago to help young people access higher education and thus greater opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families and become better leaders in a rapidly changing international global community. A second focus area of the foundations is to promote U. S. -Asia cultural exchanges.  A third focus area is to support healthcare initiatives to ensure greater coordination, better communication to ensure the best quality of care to the vulnerable in our society.