Timothy August 27th, 2020

I only met Dr. Partridge once and that was very briefly. It was at a conference in the United States in 2014. He finished his speech and had to fly back to the UK for a family wedding. The two things that really impressed me at the time was his devotion to his cause which you could hear in his words and his devotion to his family which you could see in his actions. Not to long ago he did a Facebook live interview and said that a lot of his ideas for spreading awareness were taken from the civil rights movements. I was impressed because he is the only person, I have ever heard publicly say that. About ten years the Many Faces of Moebius Syndrome, www.mfoms.org, created an international day of awareness called Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. I grew up 3 miles outside of Washington, DC in the 1960’s & 1970’s. All our original ideas came from things that worked well in the civil rights movement. The irony is this: Face Equality Week snuck up on us this year and we got a late start. Like the day after it began. Since we were not a member of FEI I really did not know how to get involved. But I wanted our global Moebius Syndrome Community to be involved. Then I remembered a quote from Shirley Chisholm who was particularly important to the civil rights movement. “If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring a folding chair.” We did not have a seat at the table because we didn’t ask for one. But we pulled up a folding chair and got involved anyway. Within 72 hours after posting about F.E.W we had 12 people from around the globe send in videos, and approximately 50 people sent in or gave us permission to use their photos. Like Dr. Partridge we took a page out of the civil rights movement to spread awareness for Face Equality Week. This was done a couple of weeks before he did the interview and I was really impressed to hear he did a lot of same things. I wish I had had a chance to talk with him one on one about it and other issues. During Face Equality Week we were invited to fill out an application to join Face Equality International. A couple of days before Dr. Partridge death we received the acceptance email. In it, Dr Partridge wrote that he was looking forward to working with us for years to come. At the time I did not know he was sick. But I do know from reading his words that he still had hope. A very admirable quality. It takes an incredibly special person to do what Dr. Partridge has done throughout his life. He faced tragedy and turned it into triumph. He continued moving forward and have given all of us with facial differences hope for a better tomorrow. Thank you, Dr. Partridge, for all you have done. I really wish I had known you better. As a new member of FEI we will do all we can to keep your visions alive. A part of you will always live in us as we go forward doing the work you started. Tim Smith