In the Southern part of the Philippines, a family lives in a crowded squatter community beside the public cemetery. There you will find a very special young lady, her name is Emilda. This is her story.
When Emilda was just 2 years old she developed a very high fever. This fever led to a convulsion and Emilda was unconscious for 6 days. When she finally awoke, she could not respond to people the way she previously had. Emilda grew and was enrolled in kindergarten. She was not able to keep up. Today Emilda is 18. She can't sing or dance, she cannot remember colors, letters or numbers. Though she can talk, she can't focus on a conversation very long and loses the point of what she is saying after a few sentences. Yet in all of these struggles, Emilda can do one thing well:
She can run! It has taken hours of practice and Emilda's family have had to make numerous sacrifices to see her succeed in this one area. And succeed she has.
At the 12th Philippine Special Olympics, Emilda Soriano won a gold medal, two silver medals and a bronze medal in track and field. Her national triumph qualifies her for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
It costs a lot of money to send someone as part of a National Delegation to the Special Olympics. The Philippine government isn't able to support athletes competing in the International Special Olympics.
However, we can help. Compassion International is leading the charge to help Emilda overcome barriers and to reach her goal of international competition
Will you join the effort to give Emilda an opportunity of a lifetime?
Your donations will provide for Emilda’s training and equipment expenses, as well as the travel expenses (e.g., passports, visas, food, transportation, lodging, etc.) for Emilda, her mom and her mentor, who is also the director of the development center and will serve as the family’s translator. Neither Emilda nor her mom have ever traveled outside of their country before.
Compassion International, a 4 star charity according to Charity Navigator, has a special page set up to help donate to Emilda's cause: Send Emilda to the Special Olympics. Any donation is greatly appreciated.
Having overcome so much already, Emilda is already a champion. Now she needs your help to become a track champion as well.