I was born with cerebral palsy because I did not get oxygen for five minutes at birth. When I was just a few days old, the doctors told my parents that there was a very good chance that I would never sit up or swallow.
The doctors were wrong. I swallow lots of different foods REALLY well! As you can see, I can sit up. I can play sports and have even won GOLD MEDALS in Special Olympics swimming competition!
I have been in Special Olympics for two years. I compete in swimming and love it! Even though I have special needs, I still do everything! This year I got to compete in the 2014 USA Special Olympics Games in New Jersey and stay in the Olympic village. It was so fun!
Special Olympics means so much to me and to others with disabilities. It really does change lives. For many people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is the first time that they get to compete in sports. It is a chance to show the world that with some accommodations we are exciting to watch and cheer for -- just like athletes without disabilities!
I am super excited about my role as global messenger for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. It will be the biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics! There will be 7,000 athletes from 177 countries competing over nine days.
During that time, the focus will be on the Special Olympic athletes -- so we can show the world that people with disabilities are accepted and included. Unfortunately, in many parts of the worlds, people with disabilities are not accepted and included. People with disabilities should be able to feel like they are valued in society just like people without disabilities. The 2015 World Games can help change this. You can help change this. I hope you can to join in supporting the 2015 World Games! It's a really big -- and I mean REALLY big deal!
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 in conjunction with the What's One Thing campaign. In this series six professional and Special Olympics athletes tell a story about a time in their lives when they were told they couldn't, but didn't listen and chased their dreams anyway. To learn more about the World Games coming to Los Angeles in 2015, visit here. To read all posts in the series, visit here.