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Michelle's Leaving Home
September 9, 2004

GOLETA, CALIFORNIA--Terri Boisot's daughter, Michelle, is turning 18 years old this week.

And she is leaving the nest.

Over the last several years, Terri has written about Michelle and her relationship with her younger brother, Ben, who has multiple disabilities.

"Michelle has loved us, cared for us and saved us," Terri wrote Wednesday for TheArcLink. "Now, she has embarked upon a life her own."

"When she was in first grade, Michelle helped her elementary school understand why Ben should be included at school too. How could they not understand? Her attitude about disability, and her love and acceptance of her brother -- say it all."

"Ever since, she has been a walking talking Abilities Awareness program and has helped pave the way for Ben's inclusive and full life."

"Man, we sure do miss her."

In November 2001, Michelle received the Cal-TASH "Mary Falvey Outstanding Young Person Award" for her leadership in the field of inclusion of people with disabilities.

Two years ago this week, Michelle wrote: "I feel important to Ben, although he can be a pain sometimes and I can really get mad at him. He is my family and I love him a lot, and I know he loves me a lot, too."

Related items from TheArcLink:
"Happy Birthday, Michelle" by Terri Boisot -- September 8, 2004
"Ben and Me" by Michelle Boisot -- September 16, 2002
"An Interview with Michelle on Being Ben's Sister" by Terri Boisot -- December 10, 2001

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