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Joanne Susi

"My life is separated into before and after. Before, I was a Senior Clinical Research Associate assisting in clinical trails with CAP working with Dana Farber, Tufts, Johns Hopkins, and others in Cancer research. Now I am a survivor and lucky to be alive". Read Kristin's story

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Cathy Hutchinson

"This settlement allow physically disabled people to live a more enriched life..."

Cathy Hutchinson, a single mother of two from Attleboro, Mass., became a mute quadriplegic after suffering a brainstem stroke. For 11 years she lived in a nursing home which she described as “being in a prison for a crime I didn’t commit.”

“Living in a nursing home was not the life I had planned. I felt so isolated from the real world.  I had little to no privacy.  I was not able to get all of the services and therapies that I needed, and each day that passed was a painful reminder of my disability.”

With the support of the Center for Public Representation and the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, she became a hero to many thousands of people in Massachusetts with brain injuries.

When Hutchinson v. Patrick, a class action lawsuit that bears Cathy’s name, won a landmark settlement agreement in June 2007, it meant that individuals with brain injury, like Cathy, could move out of nursing facilities and into a community setting. They would have the opportunity to live life more fully, independently, and with dignity.  

In the fall of 2010, first individuals with brain injury moved into their new homes and this summer (2011) Cathy will move into the community. “When I heard the news, I was so happy I filled with tears,” says Cathy. “My experience with brain injury has inspired me to want to advocate for others with disabilities,” says Cathy.

“I will never stop fighting for the disabled.”



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