Disability As Lifelong Marathon

JayRudermanThe op-ed below appeared yesterday in The Times of Israel. Our foundation’s location- headquarters in both Israel and Boston- and our expertise in the area of disabilities gave us we believe a unique perspective on last week’s Boston Marathon bombings.

Jay

Jeff Bauman is on my mind.

One week ago, two brothers carried out a despicable attack in Boston. Their targets were innocent civilians, marathon runners, fans, by-standers and local law enforcement officials. Their goal was to kill, hurt and maim. And unfortunately, they succeeded.

The foundation I represent is unique in the philanthropic world as we have headquarters both in Israel and in Boston. Living in Israel, terrorist attacks have unfortunately become part and parcel of life here. As soon as news breaks, we text everyone we know, constantly refresh news sites, wait for the latest updates.

But frantic phone calls to staff in Boston, ensuring people are OK, waiting for family members to check in overseas, was a surreal experience. Upside down, in fact. This hit close to home, 6,000 miles away.

Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack, and the other 170 injured people weren’t expecting to have their lives turned upside down. But those who sustained permanent disabilities have just joined a large swath of the population whose needs are not adequately met.

The US government estimates that 20 percent of the population has some form of disability. In Israel, approximately one million Israelis of working age have a disability. Some are born with a disability while other disabilities occur with age. So many people are affected – those with disabilities, their families, friends, co-workers, neighbors and communities.

But sometimes, a disability happens in an instant. A car accident, sports injury, a stroke and yes, terrorist attack. Jeff Bauman…. Healthy one minute, a person with a disability the next.

Continue reading the post on Times of Israel

Boston

Photo courtesy of instagram.com/p/YVclHcpREx

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Filed under Disabilities rights, General News, perceptions of disability, Uncategorized

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