I remember meeting Maria for the first time. I was in D.C. for a conference in 2008 and she walked into a rountable meeting. I remember seeing Senator Dick Durbin look at Maria and said, “Hi Maria how have you been”? I thought to myself who is this lady and why does everyone know her? Well after a short period of time, I figured it out. Everyone knew Maria because she was an AMAZING advocate. Through all the years being on calls with her and other Directors she would always speak up and say what everyone else was thinking. She was such an amazing voice and fought for what was right. She will be deeply missed!