April Dunn – Gone but not forgotten online
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April Dunn

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April Dunn, a staff member of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Office of Disability Affairs, died March 28 after complications related to the coronavirus. Friends said Dunn tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on Thursday, March 26, and was hospitalized on Friday. She died the next day. “She lived her life to the fullest and improved the lives of countless Louisianans with disabilities as a dedicated staff member in the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs,” Edwards said in a Twitter thread, calling her “an inspiration to everyone that met her.” Dunn was a fierce advocate for disability rights and suffered from several underlying conditions, including cerebral palsy. The Louisiana native began her advocacy during her fight to obtain her high school diploma and attend college. In 2013, she joined forces with other advocates to help pass Act 833 — a bill that allows "alternative pathways" to high school graduation for people with disabilities. Dunn had been denied a high school diploma after successfully completing her coursework but failing to pass standardized testing. Dunn was also the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disability Council. “I mean she went from surviving fetal alcoholism syndrome, through foster care, to being adopted to working in the governor’s office after she finished college,” Dunn's close friend, Brandi Melissa, 36, told BuzzFeed News. “She was amazing.”