Terence M. Lynch
Throughout his life, Terence Michael Lynch understood the value of helping others. Whether it was driving and connecting with children with Downs Syndrome, volunteering for the Jaycees, or lobbying the United States Congress to increase funds to aid medical research to help children with juvenile arthritis, Terry always wanted to make life a little better for those around him. Now, following his death in the September 11th Pentagon attack, Terry’s family would like to continue his work of service and goodwill through their Terence M. Lynch Foundation.
Terry was born on September 5, 1952 to Thomas and Kathleen Lynch in Youngstown, Ohio, where he later received a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in History. Following his marriage to Jacqueline Frechko in 1977, they moved to the Washington, DC area, where they had two daughters, Tiffany Marie and Ashley Nicole.
For more than 20 years, Terry worked for different branches of the U.S. government. In 1978, Terry began working for his hometown congressman, Charles Carney, as a legislative aide, before moving to the office of Alabama Congressman Albert Lee Smith. Following Smith’s 1982 Congressional loss, Terry moved to the office of Congressman Richard Shelby, for whom he worked from 1982 to 1995 as his senior legislative aide. From 1984 to 1986 he successfully helped Shelby move from the position of the Alabama Congressman to Alabama Senator. As a member of Senator Shelby’s staff from 1982 to 1995, Terry served as the Senator’s military, foreign affairs, appropriations and health care liaison. Working on behalf of the citizens of Alabama, Terry fought to move the Aviation and Troop Command from St. Louis, Missouri to Huntsville, Alabama during the 1995 base realignment and closure efforts. It was also due to Terry’s efforts that an Aviation and Missile Command Center was created in Huntsville, providing more than 1,800 jobs to the area. As a member of Shelby’s staff, it was Terry who initiated the investigation into the Gulf War Illness and continued relations with Middle Eastern countries. For this work, Terry was sent, as a representative of Senator Shelby and the Senate Armed Services Committee, to meet with heads of state of such countries as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Syria, the Czech Republic, France, England and Germany.
In 1995, following his tenure in Shelby’s office, Terry moved to the Senate Intelligence Committee as the Committee’s Gulf War Illness and Middle Eastern Affairs expert. In May of 1997, Terry continued his investigation of Gulf War Illness as the director of the Special Commission for Gulf War Illnesses chaired by Senators Arlen Specter and Jay Rockefeller. In 1998 Terry was invited to work on the President’s Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction, as a national expert on biological and chemical weapons, in particular, the use of Anthrax as a terrorist weapon. Terry ended his career in 1999 where he had spent so much of his efforts, working once again on the Special Commission for the Gulf War Illness. In September 1999, Terry left the U.S. government and joined the staff of Booz, Allen and Hamilton as a military and health care issues expert. During his time at Booz, Allen, Terry was responsible for the Army On-Line Education Program, Army University and, on the day of his death, Terry was attending a meeting to extend military survivor benefits to military families.
It was also during these years that Terry and Jackie learned that their youngest daughter, Ashley, was born with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and their oldest daughter, Tiffany, was diagnosed with systemic lupus. Realizing the desperate need for juvenile arthritis specialists for further research into the disease, Terry and Jackie began a lobbying campaign which has succeeded in the creation of a National Juvenile Arthritis Day (which turned into the National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Week celebrated every year during the first week of March), and the creation of the National Institutes of Health’s Multipurpose Center for Study of Juvenile Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma and Other Juvenile Rheumatological Diseases, which is now housed at NIH and run by Dr. Robert Lipnick of Silver Spring, Maryland. Terry’s wife, Jackie, and his two daughters, Tiffany and Ashley, are now trying to fulfill his dream by continuing his groundbreaking service to fight juvenile rheumatological diseases in the creation of the Terence M. Lynch Foundation. As a family assistance center, the Terence M. Lynch Foundation will offer financial assistance to needy families to help pay for medical expenses, college scholarships to children with rheumatological diseases, offer support to juvenile rheumatological specialists and their clinics, and educate families, school systems and the public about the different diseases.