Summary: disability rights activist and plaintiff who was born with spina bifida, a congenital defect that causes partial paralysis and impaired speech, who was still unable to urinate on her own when she reached school age in Irving, Texas and required catheterization every few hours to prevent kidney damage in a process that took only several minutes but that she was too young to perform herself (school districts that received federal funds are required to provide handicapped students with "related services", which could include transportation, recreational facilities, occupational therapy, and other benefits, but Irving school officials considered catheterization a medical service that was beyond the scope of the law), whose family sued when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously legal battle during which the district was required to offer the procedure (the decision, the court's first to distinguished legally between a related health service and a medical service under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, expanded the definition of related services to include certain health care measures that did not require a doctor), who struggled to the stage with her braces and crutches to receive her diploma from MacArthur High School in Irving ten years later after refusing to use a wheelchair that was available and also received a standing ovation.
Cause of Death: Multiple infections resulting from her congenital spinal defect
Born: October 9, 1975
Died: August 8, 2018
Location: Dallas, Texas