When doctors told Joseph Beaupre he had only a few months to live, the army veteran knew exactly how he wanted to spend his remaining moments.
Beaupre told his care providers that he wanted to celebrate his son Tracey’s graduation next year by wearing a new suit to the commencement ceremony. However, Beaupre’s doctors didn’t believe he would live to see that day. That’s when Season’s Hospice stepped in to grant Beaupre’s wish.
The organization, which provides care for the terminally ill, sometimes fulfills wishes for its patients. “He expressed . . . that he would love a new suit, he loves to get dressed up,” said hospice nurse Andrea Zimmerman. So, Season’s Hospice partnered with Joseph A. Banks store in Portland and a local tailor to gift Beaupre a new, custom-fitted suit.
Courtesy of other community donors, Beaupre then enjoyed a limousine ride to Ringside Steakhouse, where he celebrated his son Tracey’s academic achievement with a gourmet meal. The restaurant provided Beaupre’s dinner free of charge.
“He is an ‘A’ student, he’s been waiting 10 years to graduate,” Beaupre said of Tracey. Thanks to Season’s Hospice, Beaupre was able to honor his son’s hard work in style.
Retired teacher and former Army serviceman Ken Walker has a passion for helping fellow veterans in need. The Portland native spends his time serving homeless servicemen and women who require transportation to the doctor’s office or grocery store.
Bob Reese is one of many veterans who have gratefully received Walker’s help. “Give him a call, say you gotta do this or that, and he’ll come with his car, take you where you gotta go, do what you gotta do,” Reese told KATU news.
Reese lost access to permanent housing last year, but anticipates moving into a private apartment in June. Walker wants to ensure that veterans like Reese make the transition back to permanent housing successfully.
“To me, this is vets helping vets and keeping vets in housing,” Walker explained. “You know, formerly homeless vets but now they’re in housing, and I want to keep them there.”
To help needy veterans ease the burden of food insecurity, Walker also runs a food pantry and household items distribution center at his church. “A lot of guys when they become homeless they lose everything,” Walker said. “They’re starting from scratch.”
Walker provides more than material goods to the destitute, however. For many veterans, he also offers friendship, empathy, and a listening ear. “We hang out and get a burger and we talk,” said veteran Scott Ramsden. “He’s the only person I can talk to about my problems, that I know he’s listening and really cares. He’s my best friend.”
Walker encourages the public to recognize both the vulnerability and dignity of homeless individuals. “If you see homeless people, treat them with respect,” he explained. “You know, look at them, talk to them, you know they are people too.”
In Walker’s experience, grateful hearts amply reward his efforts to treat the homeless with compassion.
Republican Congressmen who have voted to restrict abortion may soon face new political challenges, according to The Washington Post. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) plans to spend $5 million in 19 states to unseat pro-life legislators in the House of Representatives.
“This is the moment NARAL was made for,” said Ilyse Hogue, the organization’s president. “We’re seeing and feeling a deep anxiety that is ginning up the enthusiasm to take back the House as a buttress against Trump’s draconian agenda. It’s our job to translate it into wins.”
NARAL has never before launched such a large spending campaign, which will focus on vulnerable Republican districts in key battleground states, such as California, Michigan, and Virginia. Pro-abortion advocates hope the campaign will oust legislators who have sponsored “personhood” and “heartbeat” bills. Advocates of such measures, including Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA), Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI), and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), desire to undermine Roe v. Wade by dramatically restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
“Voters are shocked when they find out how these guys are voting,” Hogue stated. “When you tell them, at the very least it depresses their enthusiasm for supporting them. At best, it moves toward another candidate.”
NARAL has enjoyed significant increases in revenue following the 2016 presidential election. In the days following President Trump’s victory, the group’s weekly donor count increased by 4,000% relative to average. Such generous support has allowed the organization to expand its efforts to undermine the pro-life cause.
In a heartening decision for pro-life advocates, the US Supreme Court opted not to overturn Arkansas’ ban on abortion by medication. The Court heard arguments pertaining to the law on appeal from a lower court, but declined to offer an opinion. The case now returns to the lower courts via a remand from all nine of the nation’s top justices.
Abortion provider Planned Parenthood initiated the suite, and may still ask a federal judge to block Arkansas’ law. “Arkansas is now shamefully responsible for being the first state to ban medication abortion,” said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president. “This law cannot and must not stand.”
Laguens argues that the courts should consider the law an “undue burden,” since it also imposes radical limits on conventional abortions in Arkansas. Indeed, under the statute two of the state’s three abortion clinics would close their doors, leaving only one facility operational.
Arkansas has attempted to legalize similarly robust protections for unborn children in the past, including a recent effort to institute a 12-week abortion ban. That law, however, succumbed to a blocking order by a federal appeals court.
Arkansas’ newest pro-life measure may similarly fail to withstand judicial scrutiny: In 2016, the Supreme court struck down comparable abortion restrictions in the landmark case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
Family Council Executive Director Jerry Cox, however, remains optimistic. “This is very good news for people who care about the safety of women in Arkansas,” he stated. “This is a pro-life victory not only for the women of Arkansas, but for women across the nation. I’m sure other states will be looking at Arkansas and considering following our example.”
Georgena Moran hasn’t let a crippling health condition keep her indoors. Instead, the Portland, Oregon native has continued to explore local trails and parks despite her limited mobility and is helping other individuals with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors.
In 1998, doctors diagnosed Moran with multiple sclerosis. By 2002, the disease had confined her to a wheelchair. As a lifelong outdoor enthusiast, Moran wanted to continue connecting with nature but struggled to find wheelchair-accessible trails in her area.
“There was a lack of information online as well as in books,” Moran told KATU news. While many resources provided beautiful pictures of trails, they lacked specific information about trail surfaces, she explained. So, Moran created her own database, Access Trails, to inform fellow hikers in the Portland area about trail conditions and ease of use for individuals with disabilities.
“These trails vary from ones where you can reach the water to other ones that are like a picnic area,” Moran said. She particularly enjoys trails with natural surfaces: “I prefer to go out there and feel like I’m part of a natural environment.”
Moran is equally at home in the woods and on the water. Before her diagnosis, she loved boating—so with the help of friends, she designed two motorized vessels which accommodate her disability. “You figure out a way and technology helps along the way,” Moran explained. “You learn different ways to be able to make your dreams come true.”
Thanks to Moran’s efforts, other wheelchair users can make their outdoor dreams come true, too.