Paul Bookman

 When producer Ron Small contacted my son two years ago about being the subject of a documentary regarding his life and work with disability rights and advocacy, I had no idea what this would encompass and where it might lead.   After the initial filming was done in Tokyo in the Fall of 2022, I began to see what Ron was attempting to capture on film and why.   What I, or anybody else could not imagine, is that Mark would unexpectedly pass away 6 weeks later from complications of a heart transplant done 21 years earlier.   This brought a new sense of urgency and commitment to get his story out and continue his legacy of disability rights and advocacy. 

Mark was very excited to start the GLIDE Fund and envisioned it as one of the leading charities designed to benefit disabled students traveling abroad while researching Disability, Equity and Inclusion.  He had encountered so many logistical issues while traveling to Japan and wanted to help others overcome some of the obstacles he endured and conquered. 

 As the producer began to edit the film after Mark passed with a slightly different direction and purpose, the Board of Directors of GLIDE began to feverishly raise money to support the completion of the film and raise awareness of the grants to be awarded to disabled individuals studying internationally.  My daughter, Rachel, who has the same rare neuromuscular disease as Mark and is a ten year heart transplant survivor, agreed to join the Board and help promote his vision for a barrier free society in which all individuals are treated the same way and allowed the same opportunities as non-disabled persons. 

With the help of my daughter as well as the rest of the  Board of Directors of GLIDE, I welcome you to join on our journey to preserve Mark’s legacy and insure that we successfully award grants and promote discussions world wide about the need to remove physical and psychological barriers so that all people are treated equally.  We have some rather large shoes to fill as Mark was internationally well- known for his research and publications, but we are excited and welcome you to join us as we push forward.