Succeeding against all odds

On this day in 1880 Helen Keller was born. She is a symbol of the courage that can overcome great obstacles.

On this day in 1880 Helen Keller was born. She is a symbol of the courage that can overcome great obstacles.

An illness robbed her of her sight and hearing when she was 19 months old.

"I was a phantom living in a no-world," Keller wrote in her 1902 autobiography, Story of My Life. "My inner life ... was a blank without a past, present, or future."

With the help of Alexander Graham Bell, the Kellers hired Anne Mansfield Sullivan (1866-1936) to teach the seven-year-old Helen how to communicate.

"The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher came to me," Keller wrote. Sullivan was nearly blind, but her tenacity and spirit forced Helen's mind from the dark.

Sullivan would sign words into Helen's hand over and over again until eventually the word "water" burst through.

Keller said: "Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.

"You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles." - Dailycelebration.com; infoplease.com;wikipedia.org

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