Peggy A.

Tom Taylor Family YMCA

Peggy's brother Timothy, was born with Cerebral palsy. In the 1940s and 50s, the conventional wisdom assumed that Timothy had no ability to learn. He couldn't speak or communicate how smart he was, and severe muscle contractures left him unable to do things for himself. Peggy's parents were told to put five-year-old Timothy in a state home for disabled children, and when their visits ultimately upset him, they were instructed to "just forget him."
 
In a way, Peggy was forced to do just that. She got married, started a family, and moved away from her hometown. She worked at the Navy shipyards in Bremerton, and it was on one of the bus trips to and from the shipyards that the driver asked Peggy if she would like to help the local Special Olympics group. Peggy had been looking for a way to contribute in the community, so she agreed. Over the next 20 years, she became a Special Olympics coach and licensed caregiver for adults with special needs. But thoughts of her brother never left her.
 
Now, 72 years after Peggy's family was told to forget Timothy, his memory became too great to ignore. Peggy determined to search for him and quickly located him. They've been inseparable ever since. Peggy became Timothy's guardian and moved him to a nursing home in the Gig Harbor area. She also signed him up for the Y's Adaptive Aquatics program so Timothy could enjoy therapeutic activities in the water. Time spent together at the Y is a highlight of their weekly routine.
 
On Mothers' Day 2015, Peggy took Timothy to their mother's graveside. They prayed together and, in her prayer, Peggy told her mother, "Don't worry, your children are together now."