by Ruth Moore
Quite a few years ago when I lived in Presque Isle , Tim and Brenda wanted to get married, and Jeff was not living where he wanted to. Some of us got together and started a self advocacy group. We talked about educating school kids, we started speaking up to support each other.
Our peer group did a lot of things in the community. We supported Jeff to speak up for himself and he got his own house, Tim and Brenda got married, and they got a house too and we started meeting there, we had self advocacy power, NEVER GIVE UP. I asked to move and moved in with friends. We stuck together and all spoke up for each other. I got chosen for the Speaking Up For Us board in 1995. We held the first regional self advocacy conference in Presque Isle. We worked on closing Pineland, and kept building a local network. In 1996 SUFU fell apart, but with team work, we went to Augusta, we kept talking to people, found money, and with help from the DD Council, the DRC, and PSL we began rebuilding the group.
We did not give up, and kept helping SUFU grow.
My friend Debbie moved, and I decided I wanted to move to the city. I moved to Portland and made new friends, it was difficult for me to try and get to board meetings, but I did not give up, I kept telling people and I got back to the May board retreat. If you want to go to the regional events, keep trying and donít give up!
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