She showed us that the human spirit is capable of overcoming any barrier.
Helen Keller is a perfect example of what it means to overcome.
Born on June 27, 1880 in a small town in Alabama, Helen came into this world surrounded by her brothers and the love of their parents. But when she was about 18 months old, she contracted a serious illness, possibly meningitis or scarlet fever. Against all odds, Helen survived the high fevers, but her body was dramatically depleted. Within a few months, her mother realized that she wasn’t responding to sound or visual stimuli. Helen herself was becoming angry at not being able to communicate in a normal way with her family.
The first person who helped her, without even knowing it, was another girl: the daughter of the Keller family cook with whom Helen developed a certain sign language that allowed her to communicate a little bit. However, as she related, for almost six years the deaf and blind child “lived deprived of the slightest understanding of nature or the mind, death or God.”
It was Helen’s mother who refused to see her little girl isolated from the world, and thus motivated, began seeking the best help she could find.
In 1886, the family sought advice from Dr. Julian Chisolm who put them in touch with Alexander Graham Bell, who at that time was conducting research and working to improve the plight of deaf children.
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