Randy Travis, Collin Raye to Headline Concert to Commemorate 5-Year Anniversary of the Death of Terri Schindler Schiavo
The concert is sponsored by the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation.
“Randy Travis attached his name onto a press release with some other celebrities during the time we were trying to save Terri’s life, so he was the first one we decided to reach out to and see if he would do the concert,” Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo and spokesman for the foundation, told CNSNews.com.
Schindler said the concert’s goal is to encourage families who may be going through similar situations that he once endured. That’s how Collin Raye came to be involved.
“My sister Suzanne saw that Collin (Raye) has a granddaughter who has a terminal brain disorder, and he has been very involved in trying to find a cure. We thought if we contacted him he would understand what we were doing and try to help Terri. He was very receptive in wanting to help.”
On March 18, 2005, the feeding tube was removed from Terri Schiavo, a profoundly disabled woman whom a Florida judge ruled was in a "persistent vegetative state" (PVS), bringing to an end the seven-year legal battle waged by the woman's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, for her custody. She was officially pronounced dead on March 31, 2005. The case garnered national attention that led to a lengthy public debate.
Congress passed legislation in March of 2005 demanding the federal courts to launch a full-scale inquiry into the legal and medical questions surrounding Schiavo, who suffered a severe loss of oxygen to her brain when her heart temporarily stopped 15 years prior to her death. Schindler told CNSNews.com: “There are still other Terri's living in our country today. I've heard anywhere between tens to hundreds of thousands of people who have similar types of brain injuries and we must do what we can to protect these people.”
Schindler says that he is still troubled by how some media outlets “misinformed the general public about the situation Terri was going through.”
“There seems to be an existing prejudice against people like Terri today and these reports that I read about my sister -- I can't point out one particular outlet -- but I see it all the time.
“They referred to her as being in a coma, as being brain-dead, it simply was not true. Terri was not dying. They treated it as an end-of-life issue; she wasn't on machines; and they always referred to her as being on artificial life-support without pointing out the fact that artificial life-support today means simply food and water -- basic care.
“People are coming up to me because of what they read. They say, ‘Oh I thought Terri was brain dead, I thought that she was hooked up to all these machines, I thought she was dying’- it was the furthest from thing the truth,” he said.
He also said he did not want to paint a broad picture of all media outlets, but “a large portion of them is still reporting a lot of misinformation about Terri's case and her condition in particular.”
Schindler continued, “I just get really frustrated. I just watched an interview where someone was saying things about Terri’s case that was disingenuous. He was saying that this is a Republican issue and it wasn’t. Not one Democrat objected -- almost half of the Democrats in the House voted in favor of Terri’s bill. They always make these statements about Terri’s case on so many different levels that it’s just not true.”
Schindler also touched upon the current health-care debate by saying he believes if health-care legislation is passed, situations such as Terri's will only take a turn for the worse.
“We're deciding life and death situations on people's quality of life and it's getting worse- and I think- not to get into a long diatribe here- but if the government controls our health care we're going to see it getting worse,” he told CNSNews.com.
To Schindler, the main drive behind the concert is not only commemorating his sister, but helping and informing families who may be involved in similar situations.
“I'm more concerned now with raising awareness on the issue and helping our foundation continue to help other families, we're getting calls all the time. We've been involved in over 200 cases since we've established Terri's foundation”, Schindler said.
The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Concert will be held on April 11, 2010 at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis, Ind. National pro-life leaders will also be present at the event.