Crystal Cobb Ross
April 16, 2012
Dr. Liz West
"Find an opportunity and seize it. Be the best you can be, and never let anyone doubt you”
“Loretta Claiborne has run 26 marathons, lobbied Congress, won the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, and is a fourth degree black belt in karate” (McCallum, 2008) and motivational speaker; while this may sound like any average athlete, Loretta is anything but average. Loretta Claiborne was born with a severe case of mental retardation or for better terms intellectual disability. Intellectual disability is “a condition that includes below-average general intellectual function and a lack of the skills necessary for daily living” (A.D.A.M., 2011). Loretta was born legally blind in one eye and did not speak or walk until she reached the age of four. Although I could not find much in writing on her background, I learned from the movie of her life entitled The Loretta Claiborne Story, that she was able to overcome here adversity with the love and support of family and through hard work and determination of not wanting to be “different”. Loretta was a bit of a handle full in school she was often very angry. She would often get into fights with her fellow classmates who relentlessly taunted and teased her. One day her teachers let her out of class so that she would not meet up with her bullies and she told Loretta to “runaway and run fast” and Loretta did just that. As result Loretta realized her love for running. However, once in high school Loretta once again found herself being pushed around and once again Loretta’s angry side emerged. She beat one of her classmates and was expelled from school. Upon being expelled she was then placed at a workshop for the mentally challenged but was fired soon for fighting a fellow co-worker. As a result of this Loretta was placed with a social worker by the name of Janet McFarland who introduced her to the Special Olympics....