Korean-American Stacey Park Milbern was a fierce advocate for people with disabilities. She passed away on May 19, 2020. She was an early proponent of the disability justice movement and fought for equal rights for people with disabilities.

Stacey Park Milbern Cause of Death

Her health declined toward the end of her life. Her rapidly progressing kidney cancer was put on hold while she hid out from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Milbern passed away from surgical complications on her 33rd birthday, May 19, 2020, at a Stanford hospital.

Stacey Park Milbern Contribution To Society

On her blog, she wrote poetry and discussed disability rights, introducing herself as “just your everyday queer disabled Korean girl living in the south.” As a child, she was able to walk, but when she started using a wheelchair, she became an advocate for people with mobility difficulties.

While still in her teens, Milbern began working on disability rights commissions. In 2007, she was a driving force behind a law in North Carolina that mandated the teaching of disability history in public schools. As she put it, “disabled people are nothing more than the objects of pity” in Jerry Lewis’ annual telethon for muscular dystrophy.

She made the decision at age 24 to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, a hub for the disabled rights movement. She continued to be active in the movement, with a special focus on securing health care for people with disabilities. She fought against Medicaid cuts in 2017 because it allowed her to remain independent by providing her with in-home caretakers at no cost to her family.

stacey park milbern cause of death

After the 2019 California wildfires caused Pacific Gas & Electric to cut power to thousands of homes, Milbern helped start a grass-roots campaign to help those with disabilities who were impacted by the blackouts, including providing them with crowdsourced survival information and connecting them with rides and housing. In

In early March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Bay Area, Stacey and four friends formed the Disability Justice Culture Club and handed out homemade disease-prevention kits.

Residents of Oakland’s homeless encampments received supplies like hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and respirators. She was the reason for increasing concerns for the community’s well-being and its most vulnerable members.

Stacey’s do-it-yourself fix is a prime example of “crip” or “crippled” wisdom. She warned that the pandemic’s demands placed on healthcare facilities posed a threat to the availability of dialysis and other treatments necessary for the survival of some members of her community.

Apart from these, her organization also coordinated the distribution of food and care to people with disabilities who were in need. She kept on working in pandemic relief despite her own worsening health.

Google Doodle Paid Tribute to her on her 35th Birthday this year.


Stacey Park Milbern was a Korean-American activist who advocated the rights of disabled people. Milbern passed away from surgical complications on her 33rd birthday, May 19, 2020, at a Stanford hospital. Google Doodle paid tribute to her this year on her 35th birthday.

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