Colin's Gift to His Mom: Inspiration!

Kelli has been a supporter of Special Olympics even before her son was born. Now little Colin is an athlete with the Special Olympics Young Athletes program. He's learning floor hockey as a winter sport, track in the summer -- and inspiring his family and supporters all year-round. 

 

300x200-Tobin-Family

A Wonderful Gift

Kelli laughs when she thinks back to how she first got involved with Special Olympics, back when she was expecting her first baby. It was a cold February day, and she was cheering on the beach as a friend jumped into icy waters at a Special Olympics Polar Plunge fund-raiser. Says Kelli, “It was freezing cold and I thought it was a crazy thing to do – but for a great cause.”

Her baby, Colin, was born a few months later, and the diagnosis of Down syndrome came as a shock. Kelli says she and her husband, Chris, had a lot of adjustments to make. Among other things, she says, they had to cope with the fact that their lives were going to be totally different.


230x300-Colin-Tobin

Welcomed with Open Arms

“It was a tough time, but then my best friend – the one who had done the Polar Plunge – said, ‘let’s make a team for Colin – to raise money for Special Olympics!” That first year, there were 30 people on the CAT (Colin Allan Tobin) Crew who raised $30,000 -- and they’ve kept going ever since.

Kelli says she got through that tough time thanks to a lot of support, which included help from the Special Olympics community. “We were surprised by how much we’ve been welcomed by everyone. Special Olympics has been a real community – it’s been so good to be among people who understand. It’s also been a real learning experience.”

 


Coming Into His Own

Five years later, Kelli now says her life hasn’t turned out to be that different after all. Colin is growing into a funny, strong-willed and independent kid who loves swimming and playing with his 4-year-old sister, Kailey. And he’s already marking his second year in the Special Olympics Young Athletes program, which aims to enhance motor and cognitive development. He's been learning floor hockey as a winter sport and track as a summer sport.

Kelli says it’s been a great experience for Colin – and for her family. “With Special Olympics, there’s this inspirational feeling watching my little athlete and the other little athletes. They work so hard to accomplish things that come so easily to others,” she says. “It’s so inspiring – his efforts and the other kids. It’s so amazing to be part of that.”

She says Special Olympics events are both social and learning experiences for Colin. “And if something seems hard, we still try to push him to continue until he succeeds-- that's what any mom would do with any child."

Now she can look back at what she’s learned since that first tough spring after Colin was born. “I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned to slow down – and have a little patience. Colin has shown us how to take life one step at a time – literally.”

Kelli says Colin surprises them every day. And he’s been making a lot of progress in Special Olympics and really enjoys being part of it. “Colin creates his own mold – that’s his gift.”

Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

Ayúdenos a encontrar un atleta más

Donar »

Buscar eventos locales y obtener información sobre oportunidades para voluntarios en una de nuestras 220 oficinas en todo el mundo.

BUSCAR UNA LOCALIDAD PRÓXIMA »

Videos and Photos

Juegos unificadosLos deportes unificados revelan los puntos fuertes de cada miembro del equipo.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

DiferenteBarry Cairns explica qué representa ser un atleta con DI.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Atletas más sanosNuestra clínicas médicas gratuitas marcan una gran diferencia.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Esperanza en HaitíLeo y Gedeon juegan en campos precarios, ciudades de tiendas de campaña, donde pueden.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Lo que nos enseña el deporteNuestro trabajo que cambia vidas tiene como sustento la fuerza del deporte.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Muy, muy especialLa música ayuda a las Olimpiadas Especiales a tener un impacto mundial.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Noticias del mundoExcelentes fotos de eventos y personas de las Olimpiadas Especiales.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Colaboradores para el cambioLos colaboradores de las Olimpiadas Especiales son esenciales para hacer lo que hacemos.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Deportes de veranoNuestros atletas corren, saltan, nadan y marcan en verano.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Poder del deporteLos deportes son un poderoso instrumento para cambiar la vida de nuestros atletas.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Qué hacemosDeportes, salud, educación, comunidad y más.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Quiénes somosSomos atletas, familiares, personalidades, voluntarios y más.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Inspiración de jóvenesEn India se está realizando un programa de Olimpiadas Especiales centrado en los jóvenes.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Hasta la cimaEl Kilimanjaro fue un campo de pruebas para un atleta de las Olimpiadas Especiales de Singapur.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Deon NamisebEs un orador y un ejemplo a seguir. Pero no empezó así en Namibia.Más información »


Videos and Photos

Un mundo de oportunidadesLos médicos dijeron que Lani “nunca va a conseguir nada”. Más información »


Videos and Photos

Encontrar su vozDavid Egan siempre ha tenido grandes sueños. ¡Miren lo que ha logrado!Más información »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan