Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 1, 2002
Fighting the fight of his life for life
MS warrior battles society's move to legislate murder
By RENATO GANDIA
"We, the disabled of Canada, face the hard edge of an uncertain future, of an increasing societal hostility."
- Mark Pickup
Pickup talked to the WCR following his presentation and said he does not have the energy to be doing what he is doing. "But not to do it is unthinkable."
His advocacy began when he was provoked by a well-orchestrated campaign that began in the early 1990s to legitimize assisted suicide and became an advocate for life. He began to speak widely across North America to community organizations, groups of health-care workers and federal government bodies.
His most recent mission found him touring major cities in Canada and the U.S. He received rave reviews in such diverse places as Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, New York and Washington.
Pickup said he met some of the "finest citizens that any nation could want" in his travels. "It's been a real blessing. It's so nice to come across literally, thousands upon thousands of people, who are very troubled about the direction we're heading and want to do something about it."
Pickup did not plan to be an advocate for life. "I think this is something that the Lord wanted me to do," he said. Since then, he has become one of North America's leading defenders of human life.
While some celebrities, such as former movie actors Christopher Reaves and Parkinson's sufferer Michael J. Fox, argue in favour of embryonic stem cell research, Pickup says if embryonic stem cells were his only chance for a cure, he would refuse to take it.
He admitted that when he was first diagnosed with MS in the mid-1980s, his life became meaningless and he planned to end it - commit suicide. Not only did the relentless condition rob him of his mobility, but it also robbed him of his passion for art when he could no longer draw and paint.
He was in despair.
Thankfully assisted suicide was not allowed yet and a valiant Pickup recovered from his bout with depression.
"The media hype kept on telling me that my life is better off, if I were dead," said the father of two and a grandfather of one.
It was during his illness that Pickup realized "God is the God of love. He is love and he wants us to include everyone. We, the disabled or incurably ill, are afraid of being excluded . . . and being unwanted and unloved."
Pickup quells those fears with his message that "Every human life has something to bring to the world. Every human life is valuable and every human life is made in the image and likeness of God."
His video presentation can be purchased by calling, 1-877-205-4602 or visit www.humanlifematters.com.
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