I learned yesterday from the Blogging Against Disabilities Day 2013 post over at Diary of a Goldfish that fellow disability blogger Dr. Elizabeth McClung has died.
Beth was one of the first disability bloggers that I got to know personally. She was the first blogger, I believe, to put me on her blogroll and for a while we emailed back and forth. I frequently commented on her blog, Screw Bronze, and it was always a treat when she'd comment here.
Beth had a severe and very rare autoimmune/autonomic disease, and was often very, very ill. It didn't stop her from doing what was important to her, like participating in the Terry Fox run for the last five years, traveling with her wife, Linda, spending time with their friend, Cheryl, and writing and sending over 6000 postcards to whomever indicated to her on her blog that they wanted one.
Even with her ill health, she blogged often. Her blog won awards. She wrote thoughtful reviews of the movies she was watching, talked about her travels and her community activities, and always included lots of art and pictures that she'd taken on her own. Many of her posts show her heart for advocacy for the rights of women, disabled people and LGBTT people. She also wrote about disability rights for BBC's Ouch blog until 2008, and did advocacy work in her community and province as she struggled to get the health care supports that she needed. I experienced the best of what Canada's health care system has to offer. Beth experienced the worst. Her stories were shocking and deeply worrying, and feeling so helpless while she went through such hardship was difficult. She was a very, very strong woman.
Beth always made me think. I'm very grateful to her for that.
Goldfish pulled up her Blogging Against Disabilities Day posts, as samples of her work. They are all great examples of Beth's heart and voice:
The life no one wants and the war on disabled
Disablism within disability
I believe...one day
Those lazy, deceiving disabled. Why won't they die?
This is my 300th post. Cheers, Beth - I wouldn't have gotten this far without you.
I shall miss you.