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August 03, 2013 | SOI General: Headquarters

Tearing Down the Walls

By Tim Shriver

It has been 18 months since the Special Olympics movement first heard the name Amelia Rivera – the brave 3-year-old girl and her amazing family denied a kidney transplant because of her intellectual disability. The Riveras’ experience was one among millions faced by people with intellectual disabilities and their families every day—albeit an extreme one. Whether it is in the institutions of health care, the halls of education, the meeting rooms of government, the fields of sport, or the whole range of social environments, people with intellectual disabilities are routinely stopped short by the walls of intolerance and ignorance. The Riveras understood the stakes. And they were not going to let those walls cost Amelia her life. Chrissy, Joe and Amelia won. The mighty brick walls have come down.

About Tim Shriver: I am the Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics

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