Cerebral palsy hasn’t slowed county DYW winner
Cora Taylor, Kingfi sher High School junior and winner of the Kingfi sher County Distinguished Young Women contest held earlier this year, was the featured speaker of the Kingfi sher Lions Club last week.
Taylor is very active at KHS and excels in a myriad of activities including FFA, in which she holds a national title and several state titles for public speaking and presentation.
She is also an accomplished singer and several of her videos can be found on YouTube.
Taylor is a triplet, the only female, born with brothers Tate and Will, to parents Kevin and Beth Taylor.
Her talk to the club centered on the subject of “Be Yourself.”
Taylor was born with cerebral palsy, which is a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.
“Honestly, if I had been born without cerebral palsy, I would have probably been very involved in sports like my brothers and I wouldn’t be talking to you here today,” she said.
“However, in a way I consider myself lucky. Number one, because of where I am on the severity spectrum for cerebral palsy. It’s not as severe as it could have been. And it also allowed me to pursue other interests, including singing, which is something I really enjoy.”
Taylor said she had to learn to walk all over again when she was 5 and then again when she was 10 years old when she had intensive spinal surgeries.
She said she also traveled to China with her parents when she was 8 to undergo a very complicated procedure to repair and replace damaged brain cells, which she said was very successful because it allowed her to have better hearing, sight and motor skills.
“Because of the cerebral palsy, my body has never really been straight. My hips, knees and feet are not turned like yours, because of my spinal and muscle alignment,” she said.
Taylor said she realizes she has physical diffi culties, but she has learned to adapt, and because of those limitations, she has developed other skills and abilities that have opened doors that have allowed her to see possibilities in her life that she otherwise would not.
Taylor said she participated in talent shows and pageants from a very young age and has no memory of being shy or withdrawn.
She said she will go on to compete in the Oklahoma Distinguished Young Women event in Bartlesville later this year and then will continue on to the national event in Mobile, Ala., if she wins that contest.
She was introduced to the group by Lions Club member Zach Meyer.