Father’s Heartfelt Tribute to Disabled Son Inspires Foundation for Empowerment

    Father's Heartfelt Tribute to Disabled Son Inspires Foundation for Empowerment

    Ernest and Anneke Robison were informed that their newborn son, Matthew Stanford Robison, had only a few hours to live due to birth complications in 1988. Despite the odds, Matthew defied expectations and lived for nearly 11 years, but his life was marked by severe disabilities such as blindness, paralysis, and limited speech. Tragically, he passed away in his sleep in 1999.

    Photo: Enjoy Utah

    To transform Matthew’s resting place into a symbol of joy, Ernest, along with his cousin Susan Cornish, crafted a poignant sculpture in 2000. This touching memorial, standing as a testament to the young boy’s courage, portrays Matthew emerging from his wheelchair, liberated from his earthly struggles as he moves towards heaven. Over the years, his gravesite has become a source of inspiration for individuals grappling with disabilities.

    Describing Matthew as a source of joy and inspiration, Ernest shared, “He was a testament to the supreme divinity of the soul and an embodiment of the completeness our spirits yearn for. The godliness of his soul inspired, influenced, and blessed all who knew him. He came into this world as a miracle and left this world as a miracle.” These sentiments not only encapsulate Matthew’s essence but also fueled the establishment of the Ability Foundation by the Robisons

    Drawing from their own experiences, Ernest and Anneke recognized the financial barriers faced by many individuals with disabilities in acquiring necessary assistive equipment. Since 1993, the Ability Foundation has dedicated itself to helping those in need access the essential equipment that empowers them to regain control over their lives. Replicas of Matthew’s memorial and other commemorative items are available through the foundation’s website.

    Matthew Stanford Robison’s memorial sculpture stands as a testament to his indomitable spirit, located within the Salt Lake City Cemetery in Utah. It serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength that individuals with disabilities possess, inspiring others to overcome their own challenges and embrace life’s possibilities.


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