Help Amidst Horror

May 06, 2024

I started this e-newsletter in 2020 to share resources and information that help young people with disabilities and those who support them. Never in a million years could I have imagined writing today’s issue, which spotlights two groups committed to rescuing disabled people from war zones. A sad day indeed.

Like many of you, I lay awake at night wondering how this will all end and what will be lost along the way. During the day, I seek out news from trusted sources, but sometimes hide from the horrors because I can’t handle all the emotion all the time.

This morning I awoke to a terrifying news report about the more than 200 people being held hostage by Hamas, including a young teenage woman with myotonic dystrophy. To think people have kidnapped her is beyond comprehension:

Rut Hodaya Perez is in no shape to be held as a hostage in the Gaza Strip.

A 17-year-old Israeli girl who has myotonic dystrophy, Rut cannot walk and uses a wheelchair. But that didn’t stop Hamas gunmen from snatching her on Oct. 7 from a trance music festival near the Gaza border during their spree of kidnapping and slaughter.

Rut is now among the large and varied group of captives that Hamas is believed to have dragged back to its underground labyrinth of tunnels in Gaza.

“She is not built to live in a place like that,” said her sister, Yamit.

New York Times/October 21, 2023

Disabled hostage Rut Perez and her father, Eric Perez. Credit: The New York Times


While the world is currently relying on diplomatic efforts to bring Rut and other hostages of Hamas to safety, there are things we can each do now to support humanitarian relief for people with disabilities impacted by the ravages of this war.

Please take some time to watch the video below, which provides an update on the essential work of Access Israel’s Purple Vest Mission to assist and save people with disabilities and the elderly in times of emergency. According to Jamie Lassner, Executive Director of Accessibility Accelerator and a Purple Vest Mission partner, “Since the atrocities of Saturday, October 7, we have been inundated with requests from people with disabilities in zones under attack. Each request demands customized response and solutions due to the complexity of each person’s unique needs. Being disabled and/or elderly in a world not constructed for you is challenging in the best of times. War or a natural disaster immediately makes navigating the world infinitely more dangerous - a nightmare for people with disabilities and the elderly.”

We must help if we can.




The Sunflower Community Fund is providing financial assistance and medical aide to organizations and individuals that assist orphans and people with disabilities in Ukraine. You can learn more about their important work here, which continues to make a huge difference in the lives of many Ukrainians suffering from the horrors of the ongoing war with Russia.


Difficult conversations.

Experts agree that talking with young people about conflict and war is essential to helping them understand the world around them. Here is expert advice on how to navigate these conversations with those you love by providing information and also reassurances. Today’s newsletter also offers ways families can help, which may be empowering and important for the young adults in your life, regardless of disability.

As always, please leave a comment below to share additional information on this topic with other readers.

Thank you for caring.

Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

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