“MS and her family moved into the community from a small town in Oklahoma to be closer to family. This move was unexpected for the family but was a necessity due to her father’s illness. MS was involved in Special Olympics in her hometown. When reaching out for support in the community, MS and her mother had read an article in the paper about our Special Olympics program. Socially, MS had limitations because of anxiety. She was involved in Special Olympics basketball in her hometown, but that was the only school program they provided. The bowling season had just begun, and MS's dad thought that she should try and get involved in the bowling program. Her interest was piqued, because her dad was an avid bowler, and they bowled a lot as a family.
After several weeks of bowling practice, she had decided that she wanted to compete at the state Special Olympics tournament and signed up to attend. 3 weeks before the tournament, her father passed away from cancer. Her mother thought that she should cancel attending the tournament because she was having some severe emotional issues. Then one day, MS and her grandmother came into to talk to me because MS wanted to attend the tournament. We hadn't cancelled her participation yet. She broke down and said that she wanted to do it for her dad. That day on the stage when they hung that Gold Medal around her neck for first place, with tears streaming down her face, she kept saying, "This is for you dad, this is for you". There was hardly a dry eye in the place. This was such a moving moment for all of us. MS has made so many friends, and has since joined the Bocce team as well.”