A Special Olympics Story of Hope

Emilda, 18, lives in Iloilo City, Philippines and is an inspirational Special Olympics story. Her home is in a cemetery and poverty plagues her community. They don’t have access to fundamental needs like medical care, plumbing, or water. Each day is a struggle and they often eat only once a day.

After Emilda because ill with a serious fever and convulsions, she never fully recovered. She was left with brain damage and the mental capacity of a 3 year old.

Her parents enrolled their daughter in Compassion’s sponsorship program. That changed her life. Little did they know that the training she received at the center would impact there family in amazing ways and provide hope to their community!

Running. It seems like a simple thing, but it was challenging for Emilda to run in a straight line. With help of a committed coach and a lot of work, Emilda began to improve. She began competing and winning!

Her wins in competition allowed her to compete in the Special Olympics in Greece. With the support of her church and other financial supporters, she traveled on this trip of a lifetime.

When the starting gun went off, this Special Olympian ran to win a bronze medal!

It was a dream come true–a remarkable Special Olympics story!

“I know that this will give her more strength and confidence to face the world.” – Coach Mary Gen Mahinai, Emilda’s coach

“Emilda’s going to the Special Olympics just set the bar of hope so much higher for everyone. Many are thinking, ‘If Emilda can go to Greece, there is no limit on what God can do in my life.’” – Pastor Joseph Alba, Emilda’s pastor