My cousin has been profoundly deaf since birth. When he was younger, he was grudgingly allowed to play Little League baseball with his brother in his hometown. While on the team, he was only played in an area where he would not have any influence on the game.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend the State Summer Games and watch him participate in the Tennis competition. Imagine how excited my cousin was to be involved in a sport with coaches who taught him how to play and encouraged his progress! Being involved in the Special Olympics helped him to understand that there were other kids and adults like him - they wanted to have fun and everyone was included in the game. Seeing the excitement and joy on his face and on those of the other athletes was contagious. I knew then I wanted to be involved.
Now I'm a mom to child with special health needs and I see the need for Special Olympics in a new light. I want my son to know there will always be a place for him to play and have fun, where no one will exclude him. I want him to learn that being impaired doesn't make him incapable and that he can accomplish anything he wants in life. I believe that he will benefit greatly from the Special Olympics program as he grows older.
To help benefit the Special Olympics, I am going to participate in the Polar Plunge at Aquatica on February 2, 2013. This is where all of you come in - I need to raise at least $100 to take part in the plunge. All funds raised will be used to help athletes and their families be able to participate in the Special Olympics. This gives all athletes an opportunity to take part in the games, regardless of their economic, demographic, religious, or social background. Thank you in advance for your help and generosity.