both Free Range Kids and SOSEN.ORG announced that Mary Duval, the CEO of SOSEN and fiery civil rights advocate, has slipped into a coma from health complications and her chances of survival are less than slim. As someone who lost his mother just this past August, I fully understand the pain the family she may be leaving behind is going through. We rarely have time to grieve while making those final arrangements and trying to figure out where that money is going to come from. Mary's son Ricky, whose own personal experiences with overbearing sex offender laws inspired Mary to advocate for sex offender reforms, will be left behind to help care for his younger brother, who is still a minor.
TO HELP THE DUVAL FAMILY DURING THIS CRISIS, SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO WWW.SOSEN.ORG (Don't forget to earmark it for the Duval family) -- Go through Sosen, not this site, to donate to them.
I've known Mary since 2008, when we worked together at SO Clear Media, creating videos to educate the public about sex offender laws. It didn't take long for me to realize we had a true warrior on our hands (a rarity considering how many people are afraid of advocating sex offender legal reform). It did not take long for people to see that either, because she became the head of SOSEN in 2009 and co-host of ARC Talk Radio. She has made made many public appearances in the national media, but even then made time to deal with my petty ideas, concerns, and projects, including proofreading my eBook Once Fallen. She made plenty of time to volunteer for the National RSO Hotline.
Mary Duval became in every sense of the word the face of this movement. She increased awareness of the plight of those forced to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway camp. The JTC residents named her spokesperson. She even helped convince Bookville (JTC camp) Emperor Ron Book to the ARC Talk Radio show. She has made more public appearances than I can count, from CNN to public speaking appearances to the John Stossel Show.
We were first made aware of Mary's health issues in September 2010, as she prepared to confront the controversial Mark Lunsford on the steps of the CNN building in L.A. Even in her condition, Mary still made it to Washington DC for the SORNA Congressional Hearings and a TV interview for Nevada Public Television.
We can only pray for Mary's speedy recovery at this point. Much like my mother, she's a strong fighter.
Here is another very good dedication post to her, it is a very good read.