Our loved ones can be the greatest source of inspiration when it comes to wanting to make a change in this world. In particular, if we observe them going through tough times or fighting an uphill battle, they can become our biggest motivator to not only advocate for their cause but also potentially run for office and bring about real social reform.

After his loss to Greg Abbott in the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election, Beto O’Rourke shifted focus and declared a different type of campaign: one that would fight for his mother’s health. He was determined to make sure she received proper care and attention, no matter what it took. His commitment is admirable as he has shown through this story just how far someone can go when they are passionate about something greater than themselves.

In a poignant post on social media, O’Rourke shared the devastating news that his mother Melissa was diagnosed with cancer. He stated, “Mom I love you so much! We’re all on your campaign now!”

Last month, O’Rourke’s family suffered a difficult time as his mother struggled with health issues. Adding to their tribulations is the heartbreaking news that recently broke: Erin “Bear” O’Rourke, his sister, has passed away. He uploaded a photo of his elder sister, adding an accompanying caption: “We lost our sister Erin this morning. A beautiful soul, a loving sister, daughter & friend. She had more than her share of challenges in life but kept her heart open to all throughout. We’re grateful to all who loved and cared for her. Rest in peace, Bear. We love you forever.” Tragically, she was only 42 years old when she passed away. The cause of her death is yet to be revealed.

Inspired by his sister’s intellectual disabilities, Erin O’Rourke’s brother took on the responsibility of being her legal guardian and began advocating for healthcare policies that would strongly support disabled individuals.

Last year, Beto O’Rourke wholeheartedly thanked his sister for her supportive and candid attitude. He even mentioned to The Washington Post that she has “no filter”, implying both her love of speaking openly as well as the constructive impact it had on him personally. Her transparency and truthfulness were invaluable to her brother, as he found it both comforting and encouraging. He stated, “If I screw something up, she’ll be the first to let me know.”