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Thread: Activist Van Arnem Dies

  1. #1
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
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    Activist Van Arnem Dies

    Businesswoman, Activist Van Arnem Dies
    Metro Detroit lost one of the nation's leading advocates for people with disabilities this weekend.

    Heidi Van Arnem, the businesswoman behind iCan Inc., a company that provides technology and services for people with disabilities, passed away this weekend after a brief illness.

    Van Arnem , 35, survived a gunshot wound to the neck when she was 16. The injury left her a quadriplegic, and confined her to a wheelchair. But the incident did not stop her from making things happen in her community and in the corporate world.

    The entrepreneur built a successful travel agency that catered to the entertainment industry and people with disabilities, before eventually selling it. Van Arnem later combined entrepreneurship with her activism on behalf of the disabled to form iCan and spin-off iCan.com, a leading Internet portal for the disabled community.

    "My life has changed as a result of my disability, but I've been able to retain the same drive and energy I had before becoming disabled," Van Arnem said. "I've channeled that energy into establishing a dynamic online community of people who can work together to improve their lifestyle and help others to do the same.

    ICan partners include General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news), America Online Inc., Kmart Corp., AT&T, Orbtiz and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - news)

    In 1992, Van Arnem founded the Heidi Van Arnem Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping research paralysis and raising funds for spinal cord research.

    She started a popular program that encouraged people to spend a day in a wheelchair to get a sense of the inconveniences the wheelchair-dependent population faces.

    Her accomplishments as a businesswoman and activist have been recognized on a number of different levels. She was the first recipient of the Evan Kemp Entrepreneur of the Year award given by the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Van Arnem was also selected to serve as a commissioner on Michigan Disability Concerns committee.

    Visitation will be Tuesday and Wednesday at A.J. Desmond and Sons Funeral Home in Troy. Van Arnem's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday at St. Hugo's Church of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills.

    For more on Van Arnem and iCan, click here

  2. #2
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
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    time to get on with human trials

    Contrary to what some people think, SCI isn't just a living hell... people are DYING from SCI. How many more die before we really start agressively pushing human trials?

  3. #3
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    Iwould like to say something deep and meaningful about Heidi's death and all I can think of is "damn it all to hell". This world needs every Heidi it can find.

  4. #4
    My heart is broken. I met Heidi about five years ago and she was very helpful in the formation of this site. She will be much missed by everybody who has ever had any contact with her. She is a wonderful person.

    Wise.

  5. #5

    Please Write Letters to Family

    One thing we can do is write letters to the Van Arnem Family expressing our sorrow, our appreciation for all that Heidi has done, and that her death is a loss to this whole community. Letters can be sent to:
    The Van Arnem Family
    c/o St. Hugo of the Hills Church
    380 East Hickory Grove Road
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304

    Persist in Hope,

    Patricia

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