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Inspiring Stories

Six young male special Olympians standing in line celebrating
Photo of The Ford sisters


Sisters Conquer Fears, Inspire Community

Special Olympics has enhanced the lives of two special Kaiser Permanente members in a magical way.

Fourteen year old Alina and 13-year-old Lilia Ford live in North Hollywood and have been part of the Special Olympics Santa Clarita Tri-Valley chapter for the last four years.

"We're enjoying this tremendously," said Rita Ford. It's an emotional experience and a wonderful opportunity for athletes and families to come together across the world."

In 2008, Ford adopted her two daughters, who were born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes damage to the brain.

"It's incredible to watch them," commented Ford. "Their specialty is artistic gymnastics. Sports gives them more confidence and helps them conquer their fears."

These Special Olympics athletes also enjoy tennis, track and field, and swimming. They recently appeared on ABC7 sharing their best gymnastics moves on the Cool Kids segment.

While the Ford sisters won't be competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, they are participating as Special Olympics Global Messengers. They have become very comfortable serving as public speakers at community events.

The Ford family's commitment and enthusiasm was apparent during their recent participation in the Special Olympics Torch Run that traveled through Universal City. Their support will live on throughout the Special Olympics World Games and long after the last competition has come to an end.