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Brooke Ellison, champion of disability rights, passes away at 45

Brooke Ellison

Brooke Ellison, a remarkable figure known for her roles as a Stony Brook University professor, author, and staunch advocate for disability rights, passed away at the age of 45. Despite being paralyzed from the neck down after a childhood accident involving a car, Ellison’s indomitable spirit propelled her to become one of Harvard’s first quadriplegic graduates, a dedicated bioethicist, and even a candidate for the New York State Senate.

Throughout her life, Ellison remained a vocal supporter of stem cell research, contributing significantly as a member of the ethics committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board from 2007 to 2014.

Her impactful journey inspired her memoir “Miracles Happen,” which later served as the basis for a 2004 TV film. Her second book, “Look Both Ways,” provided an updated reflection on her life roughly two decades later.

Last year, Ellison shared insights about her latest book in a conversation with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Jesse King on “51%.” Her legacy continues to inspire and advocate for greater inclusivity and accessibility for all.

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