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Thread: The son of a friend to us all passed away

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member
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    Default The son of a friend to us all passed away

    My friend Sue Swenson is the US Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education (special education) in Washington. She is a wonderful and very, very wise advocate for all us. Today, her son Charlie passed away. Charlie was beloved and Sue has always used her experience as a great mother and a great advocate for him to inform her work on all our behalves. I'm so sad. RIP Charlie.
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
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  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Sue in her loss of Charlie. How well I understand the pain Sue is experiencing now, a pain incomparable to any other we will ever know, and one that no parent should have to endure.

    To get to know Sue and her son better, I researched Sue on the internet. I first discovered a 14 page document, which she submitted as testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy in 1993. At that time, Charlie was nearly 11 years old.

    While reading her testimony, I asked myself, "Why don't I know her?!" Everything she said in her testimony rang so very true to many of my experiences, but our parents did it all on the fly. The Partners program didn't exist for us in our community.

    And why haven't I known her, before you introduced me to her regarding the issues we went through last year with Jon's programs? The Deputy Assistant Director of Special Ed and Rehab Services, and I didn't know her. That has been my loss for certain.

    We all owe Sue a tremendous debt of gratitude for her extraordinary efforts. She is truly a remarkable woman.

    Her testimony can be found here:

    And here's a video presentation by Sue:


    Sue pioneered the way for Charlie to have his best possible life here on Earth. She provided every avenue he needed to be a Person First, and Charlie obviously benefitted from those opportunities. Now, his work here completed, Charlie is in the Perfect Place.

    As she grieves for her precious son, I pray that Sue feels the peace surrounding Charlie now, that it washes over her and brings her comfort. I pray that she will feel Charlie's presence very near her, so that she knows he is safe, happy, free, and perfect now.

    And I pray that the prayers of those, like me, who did not know her or Charlie, will give her strength to cope with Charlie's passing. You are not alone, Sue. We join you in your sorrow for your beloved Charlie.

    "Goodness is not tied to greatness, but greatness to goodness." Thomas Moffet

    "He who is least among you all ~ he is the greatest." Luke 9:48

    Love & Light,

    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Oct 2006


    I'm very sorry for her loss....

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7) babies are all getting so old!!

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