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June 14, 2010

Terri Schiavo's foundation sued by Michael Schiavo

     Banner for the Terri Schindler Foundation
     Banner for the Terri Schindler Foundation

Over 5 years after the very public, tragic and court-ordered execution of Terri Schindler Schiavo, the Schindler family still fights Terri's husband who sought and secured legal permission to murder his disabled wife by dehydration. Michael Schiavo, Terri's former husband, accuses Terri's family of trying to exploit her saga by raising money for the foundation named after her, and the media has been too happy to accommodate his platform and buttress his attacks.

Started while Terri was still alive as Terri's Fight, the foundation assists other disabled members of our society who may be deprived of their legal rights and medical care. The organization is run by Terri's mother, Mary Schindler, her brother, Bobby Schindler, who serves as the spokesman for the organization, and Terri's sister, Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo. The Schindler family began the foundation to defray the legal expenses and the costs of providing Terri the rehabilitative treatment and medical care of which Michael barbarically deprived her to thwart her recovery.

Following Terri's painful involuntary euthanasia death in 2005, the Schindler family changed the name to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, and the organization has only has raised a modest amount of money, less than 6 figures, to support disabled people like her. Through the foundation, www.TerrisFight.org, Terri's family has fielded countless calls from Texans due to the draconian Texas Advance Directives Act (Chapter 166.046 of the Health and Safety Code). The foundation has assisted TX Right to Life in our efforts to protect the disabled from the denial and withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment.

Michael Schiavo claims that a court document gives him rights to the name Terri Schiavo, and he alleges that no one can use her name without his permission. His attorney has written to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, instructing Terri's family to cease and desist using her name. Peculiarly, the man who denied Terri rehabilitative treatment because he wanted the money left for her medical care to himself, is now accusing Terri's family of profiteering with her name.

Ironically, Michael attempted to profit politically from Terri's death, by starting a political action committee, called Terri's PAC, to oppose "Bible-thumping politicians" who fought to protect her life. Eventually, the FEC closed down his PAC after repeated fines for late reports and violation of reporting guidelines.

No member of the Schindler is making any money of Terri's name, and Bobby's annual salary is under $40k. All the honorariums and fees earned as an international spokesman for the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation are paid to the foundation. Suzanne has not been paid any wages for over a year, and Terri's mom will not take any money for the endless hours she spends at the foundation office helping families.

Despite a 2008 exemplary audit by the IRS, the foundation and family still fend off such attacks. The media, and even Fox's "Family Guy," spin the story of the foundation's work, ignoring the facts and the low level of finances at issue in Schiavo's recent "wolf" cry.

At another level, TX Right to Life and the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation remind these irresponsible journalists, Michael Schiavo, and the rest of the world of their limitations and mortality. They may pray that they never have to live "like that," but organizations like ours will defend them from legal execution when other journalists pontificate about their diminished quality of life.

Texas Right to Life via Pro-Life Blogs
Publish Date: June 14, 2010
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