There is great sadness in these words by Mamamia today. It is with tears in our eyes that we tell our readers of the death of one of our favourites, of one of our friends, Stella Young.
Comedian, disability activist, journalist, author and broadcaster Stella Young has died at the age of 32 from an aneurism.
Her sudden death on Saturday evening has left her family and friends devastated.
“With great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Stella Young, our much-loved and irreplaceable daughter and sister,” Stella’s family said in a statement.
“Stella passed away on Saturday evening, unexpectedly, but in no pain.
“A private funeral will take place soon, followed by a public event in Melbourne, with more details to come.
“Our loss is a deeply personal one. We request privacy during this difficult time.”
Only a few weeks ago Stella Young wrote for Fairfax Media: “I tend not to think about living to some grand old age. Then again, I don’t think about dying either. “
At the age of 32, Stella Young had spent her short life challenging the way we think about people with disabilities.
She was born in Stawell in Western Victoria in 1982. Her parents, Greg, a butcher and record shop owner and Lynne, a hairdresser told her that she was their “easiest child” because until she got her first chair she just stayed where she was put.
Stella Young was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition she has described as “really dodgy bones”.
But the focus of her life’s work has not been her dodgy bones; in fact, Stella strived to make people think about disability.
“I want people to think about disability more,” she said. “I want people to think about ableism in the same way they think about racism.”
She previously told Mamamia: “Being a disability advocate, I suppose, just means being stroppy about stuff that is not fair, and raising and discussing issues that affect people with disabilities I guess.”
Stella has said that the day she was born her parents were told that she was probably going to die.
“When I came along and there was all this different stuff, they were like, ‘All right, let’s go with it’. They say the only time they were ever really sad about me having an impairment was very early on when they said I might not survive and that was pretty sad for them, but then I did.”