October 8, 2015  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  


Keynote Nick Vujicic, international motivational speaker born without limbs, among lineup of speakers to address thousands about celebrating beauty of every human life

Inspiring speakers and presenters will join Archbishop José H. Gomez at OneLife LA, on January 23, 2016 in downtown Los Angeles, for the first large-scale event uniting people of all backgrounds throughout Southern California to celebrate the beauty of every human life from conception to natural death.

Inspired by the example of Pope Francis, OneLife LA seeks to promote a culture of life, where every human life is valued, especially the marginalized. The event, themed “Who do you live for?” will include a roster of local and national voices sharing their personal, life-affirming stories.

OneLife LA keynote speaker, Nick Vujicic will share his story about being born without limbs, his strength and passion for life, and achieving victory over his struggles through faith. “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be his hands and feet, then he will certainly use any willing heart,” said Vujicic. His deep-rooted faith helped him see his disability as a blessing and formed the nonprofit organization Life Without Limbs when he was only 17 years old.

Millicent “Mama” Hill used to be a teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District and will share her story of how she turned her own home into a place of solace to give the children of her community in South Los Angeles a safe place to go to get the help they needed. Since starting Mama Hill’s Help, a nonprofit after-school program that helps inner city kids rise above challenges like homelessness and gang violence, about 3,000 children have walked through her doors.

Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley will share their story of creating a lifetime worth of adventures and love to celebrate their unborn baby, Shane, who was diagnosed with a brain defect and died shortly after birth. They created a ‘bucket list’ of experiences to fulfill during the pregnancy and created a Facebook page “Prayers for Shane” to chronicle their adventures, from visiting a pumpkin patch to a Phillies game. They also went to beaches, zoos and the Statue of Liberty.

JJ Hanson, a combat decorated Marine who served in Iraq, was diagnosed a year ago with an aggressive brain cancer. He will share his story how his faith moves him to fight the disease and stay strong for his wife and one-year-old son. Hanson shares his journey via social media and coined the motto “You can’t hurt steel.”

After experiencing abduction and a near-deadly attack at the age of 12 when she lived in Mexico City, Lianna Rebolledo founded Loving Life, a non-profit organization to help raped and pregnant women. Rebolledo will serve as the OneLife LA 2016 emcee.

Actors, and long-standing advocates for protection of human life, Patricia Heaton and Eduardo Verastegui will join OneLife LA for the second year in a row. Heaton, an outspoken advocate for life, and Verastegui, a prolife activist and founder of Manto de Guadalupe, a pregnancy clinic in Los Angeles, will share stories of celebrating and honoring life as presenters at OneLife LA 2016.

OneLife LA, spearheaded by the Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace, was first celebrated on January 17, 2015. The event united nearly 15,000 people to “Be Somebody to Somebody” in their own communities through good works. To see more highlights from OneLife LA 2015, please visit http://onelifela.org/2015event/.

For more information, or to register for OneLife LA 2016, visit www.onelifela.org