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Former First Lady Betty Ford passed away on July 8, 2011 at the age of 93. The recovering community owes Betty Ford a huge debt of gratitude. In the 1980’s, she openly spoke about her battle with alcoholism. At this time the topic of addiction and alcoholism was extremely taboo. Her openness provided incentive for individuals to seek help for substance abuse issues for themselves and for their loved ones. Betty Ford made a difference in the lives of many due to her stance on going public.
Betty Ford was a mother, a wife and a strong woman. She battled breast cancer, battled alcoholism and was the wife of conservative Republican Former President Gerald Ford. She fought for health issues and made her thoughts and beliefs public. She is a strong mentor for any female to have. She strongly supported women’s rights, had tolerant opinions on abortion and was called the “fighting first lady” by Time magazine. Due to her personal struggle with prescription drugs and alcohol she was inspired to start The Betty Ford Center in California in 1982. This center has helped numerous individuals struggling with addiction.
Betty Ford was a force of determination towards change that would improve the lives of women. Speaking publicly about her personal health issues created the movement to end the social stigma attached to those issues. She has merited many accolades and she will be missed. Her work and mission will live on.
“As our nation’s first lady, she was a powerful advocate for women’s health and women’s rights,” he said in a statement. “After leaving the White House, Mrs. Ford helped reduce the social stigma surrounding addiction and inspired thousands to seek much-needed treatment.” ~President Barack Obama