Examining Disability in the Lives of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Christopher Reeve, and Joni Eareckson Tada
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In today’s society, disability is often viewed as a problem in need of a medical solution, and suffering is seen as an aspect of life that needs to be eliminated. This thesis examines the lives of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Christopher Reeve, and Joni Eareckson Tada, all of whom became paralyzed, to show that disability and suffering could behold the key to how life should truly be lived, in order to develop better relationships with God. These three individuals faced many trials on their journeys, yet each ultimately became an advocate for people with disabilities, whether that be focused in disability rights, medical research, or spiritual healing. Lastly, the effect of disability on their purposes in life and on their abilities to fully accept themselves in their ‘broken’ bodies will be discussed.