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Brooke Ellison, Stony Brook professor and disability rights advocate, dies at 45

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Brooke Ellison, a Stony Brook University professor, author, and disability rights advocate, has died at age 45. As a child, Ellison was struck by a car and paralyzed from the neck down, leaving her dependent on a wheelchair and a respirator. She went on to become one of the first quadriplegic graduates of Harvard, a dedicated bioethicist, and a one-time candidate for the New York State Senate. Ellison was also an advocate of stem cell research, and served on the ethics committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board from 2007 to 2014.

Her first memoir, “Miracles Happen,” inspired a 2004 TV film. Her second book, taking an updated look at her life roughly 20 years later, is “Look Both Ways.” Ellison spoke about it with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Jesse King last year on "51%."

Jesse King is the host of WAMC's national program on women's issues, "51%," and the station's bureau chief in the Hudson Valley. She has also produced episodes of the WAMC podcast "A New York Minute In History."