United Spinal Association has lost an amazing disability rights advocate and friend.

Finn Bullers, 52, passed away Sunday, January 31, 2016 at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City from complications of an illness. He leaves behind two children, Alora and Christian Bullers.

Finn Bullers

Bullers, who had lived with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, was a reporter for the Kansas City Star for nearly 15 years before he focused his time and energy on advocating for people living with disabilities across the country.

He brought a tenacious approach to fighting for a number of key advocacy issues, including preserving access to Complex Rehab Technology, that is, customized wheelchairs, ratifying the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and expanding Medicaid in Kansas to include greater in-home care he and other Kansans desperately needed. He also fought to get governments to adopt more modernized wheelchair accessibility signs.

In honor of his advocacy efforts and the genuine zeal with which he pursued them, United Spinal Association named Bullers its 2014 Advocate of the Year. He was presented with his award at United Spinal’s 3rd annual Roll on Capitol Hill, legislative and policy conference in Washington, D.C., June 22-25, 2014.

Bullers’ path to advocacy started during his undergraduate years studying journalism at Iowa State. Working on the student newspaper, he got a first-hand glimpse of the power of information and developed a love for speaking truth to power. Upon graduating he began a three-decade career as a newspaperman, reporting and editing for a number of prestigious Midwest newspapers.

As a member of our Kansas City chapter and a policy advisor for the chapter, Bullers was a shining example of how one advocate’s voice could break down barriers and spark positive change on the local, state and national level.