By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
I want to share with you this wonderful tribute to J.J. Hanson by Kathryn Jean Lopez in National Review Online. With J.J.’s inspiring example, there is no way any of us can stop fighting doctor-prescribed suicide.
A family member, I think one of James Joseph Hanson’s sisters, held up six-month-old baby Lucas for all the packed church to see. … Lucas was testimony to faith and endurance and love. More than three years ago, J. J. Hanson was given a diagnosis of four months to live. Lucas is living testimony to why you don’t give up even when experts say it’s over. It’s not over, Hanson might say, until God says its time.
When asked, J. J. would report, “Every day I am doing better.” Or, “I’m getting better every day.” He could say that because the weakening of his body only strengthened his spirit. He could say that because he saw the world and his life through the eyes of faith. And he saw what a difference it made. What more could any of us ask for than to say, in all gratitude, “I’m getting better every day”? You can say that when you persevere in “pure love,” which is, as many explained, how J. J. lived.
As you may know, J.J. Hanson was a former Marine diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014 who became a tireless advocate for life against doctor-prescribed suicide. Even as he fought his battle against the cancer, J.J. served as president of the Patients Rights Action Fund, fighting efforts to pass doctor-prescribed suicide legislation in New York and elsewhere.
Rest in peace, J.J.