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June 11, 2013 | North America: Georgia

Georgia Young Athlete Wins By Not Giving Up

By Wendy Bigham

Young Athlete Joselyn Coleman recently received The Norah McGraw Award, which is presented annually by Coweta County Special Olympics in honor of the memory of the teacher and Special Olympics supporter. The 7 year old has been diagnosed with chromosomal abnormalities, a congenital heart defect and a developmental delay. When she got to Cathy Snyder's classroom at Western Elementary School in August 2011 she was unable to walk without assistance or a walker. "By Christmas she would hold one of my fingers but when I would try to have her let go, she would panic," Snyder said. "The physical therapist saw the bar in the Young Athlete's kit and tried having her hold it in front of herself while she was walking." Joselyn was walking by herself and didn't know it. The bar was a perfect accommodation, Snyder said. She is now able to walk, with an adult shadowing her, but without the bar.

About Wendy Bigham: Wendy Bigham is the senior public relations manager at Special Olympics Georgia.

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