At last year’s 2017 Decatur Polar Plunge, I made a pledge to Sarah.I told her I would make the PLUNGE one more year as I would retire from plunging when I turned 70. I had been BOLD and COLD so many years that I'd become a frozen iceberg! Sarah actually agreed that I should retire!As we all know, Sarah ruled but we didn’t know that that plunge would be the last one Sarah would live to see
We continue to love Sarah for that wonderful smile, her amazing pride, her outspokenness and her spunk.She overcame so much in her life but her lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis, diabetes, & hydrocephalus ended courageously, fighting till the end.This year I am dedicating my Plunge in Sarah’s memory.
Sarah’s greatest hope was to take the word “retarded” out of the vocabulary of people who spoke about special people just like her.She fought hard to end that word and hoped that all people “respected” everyone’s self-being.Some told her that this word would always stay in the everyday vocabulary because unfortunately it described a certain population.Sarah was quick to say that there were other words that were not so hurtful that could be used. Having to go throughout school being called "retard" and "stupid" just didn't set well with Sarah and she stood up and fought for change!And…guess what, she won that battle, just like she won so many others!She was ecstatic when that word “retarded” was taken out of vocabularies describing herself and all of her fantastic friends!In her speeches, she wasn’t sure she could correctly say the new word “intellectual disabilities” but by golly she did and loved the fact that the only word that started with “re” was RESPECT.
Special Olympics was always Sarah’s love.She participated in every sport she could and we truly believe that Sarah lived her life to the fullest because of it!Not only did she participate in so many sports but she was a spokeswoman, an advocate for others and herself and was fortunate to serve on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Illinois. Special Olympics will always be Paula's and my love because it has brought so much not only to Sarah but to all her team mates and other athletes from all over the world.
The monies raised by this Polar Plunge will continue to help the 22,000 athletes in Illinois, her teammates, compete in the sports they love and will help to build lifelong friendships.Donating through this site is simple, fast and secure. It is also the most efficient way to make a contribution to our Polar Plunge Special Olympics IL. If you think others might want to donate, please forward this page on to them.
Sarah’s most favorite sport was of course, Equestrian.Sarah’s biggest hope was when she passed, her horse SM would sweep down from the skies to pick her up and they would ride to heaven.We know her DREAM came through.Thank you for your help in making other’s dreams come true as well.