The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love

Works of Love Newsletter
Stephen G. Post

Disability Rights Activist Brooke Ellison

Dear Friends:

All people of kindness and devotion to the cause of disability rights need to know that it was our greatest honor here at the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics to have worked with our distinguished colleague Brooke M. Ellison. If words can do any justice to her wonderful energy, vision, and love for humanity, this article from the Harvard Crimson comes close. We had a celebration of her life on the Stony Brook campus a month ago, led by her remarkable family. Brooke was, or so I for one fully believe, the single most inspiring speaker in medical education in a generation, bringing hundreds of medical students to new insights at the interface of bioethics and disability advocacy. She often spoke from experience about the dynamic of hope in recovery and in resilience, as she became quadriplegic at age 12 as a child struck by a car while walking home from school. She eventually received various awards and recognitions as she graduated from Harvard University with her mom by her side every day, gave the graduation address, and received distinction for her senior thesis on the psychology of hope. In many ways, Brooke contributed as much to positive psychology as almost any one, and then some. Please enjoy the article, and the picture of our thrilled medical students gathered around her at Stony Brook Renaissance School of Medicine.

Photo: Brooke Hope with medical students and Stephen Post

As the months pass by now from February 4 2024, when the world lost this champion of pure love and resilient joy, it is an honor to keep her memory alive. Her books were great. The Brooke Ellison Story: One Mother, One Daughter, One Journey, which Brooke co-authored with her wonderful mother Jean, became the worldwide movie success The Brooke Ellison Story, directed by her friend and admirer Christopher Reeve. I hope you can pick up a copy of this, and of her Look Both Ways (2021), her more mature perspective on her remarkable journey. It is the best personal narrative I have read in its genre.

Thanks All

Stephen G. Post
Stephen G. Post, PhD, Founder and President (2001-current)
The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love


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