Letter from Larry Paradis to the DRA family and Disability Community

Dear DRA family and Disability Community,

I leave you with a sense that we have changed the world for the better for so many people throughout our society. Our story is still unfolding and I wish I could be there for the chapters still to be written. But my part is over and I know you will continue the struggle to make the world better for people with all kinds of disabilities.

My leaving this life was a hard choice. I have lived with my disability for longer than I lived without it. When I first became severely disabled, I thought my life was at an end. Yet I discovered that living with a disability can be a rich and fulfilling experience – one that make the lives of my personal and work family quite dear. The many people who make up the DRA family and Disability Community have made a profound difference in my daily experience of life – a difference that brought meaning and joy to my world.

Many of you do not know the degree to which my physical body has deteriorated. It has been a struggle for many decades to deal with a progressive disease. It continues to worsen, and I have reached a point where the prospect of further medical crises, hospitalizations, surgeries, recovery phases, and the likelihood of this becoming worse and worse is no longer tolerable.

You have all made my life full and rich beyond any reasonable expectation. I choose to exit life on my own terms. My hope is that you will continue to fight the good fight.

So I leave you to continue our mission. To all of you who have such a special place in my heart – I wish you farewell. Support each other and help each other to ensure that the dream endures.

For DRA management – a separate note is enclosed addressing some logistical matters.

Your dearest friend,  Larry