Colleagues, some of the fortunate among us have had the opportunity to meet Katie Beckett and to work with her mom, Julie. I first met Julie as part of the core team for the NE Iowa Community Circle of Care; but by the time Julie introduced me to her daughter, I admit I was somewhat starstruck: it was like meeting a living legend for me, so “famous” had she and her daughter long already been in my awareness.
Katie’s unfortunately difficult life ended last week as one that was far too short, and at the same time one that was clearly, consequentially positive in its impact on our American community. Had it not been for the determination of Katie and Julie, many, many thousands more families would have been torn apart by the terrible dilemma of having to choose between accessing necessary treatment and support for disability conditions, or sharing the joy of living together as Family.
It is often sobering to see how much real power to bring about positive change a modest, but committed, individual or family can exert. Katie, you will certainly be missed by the thousands of people into whose lives you have brought your joyous smile and good cheer. Rest in peace, assured that you will long be remembered for the courageous way you help so many families to find their way out of that same terrible dilemma that you and yours simply refused to accept!