Karen A. Gorr details her struggle to learn to walk, talk, and stick up for herself, to escape a life of abuse and isolation in an institution for the “feeble minded.” With determination, stubbornness, willpower, and a sense of humor, Ms. Gorr transforms herself from a “limp rag doll” into a scholarship student, teacher, speaker, wife, mother, and advocate for those with mental and physical disabilities. Ms. Gorr proves by example that even the worst odds cannot quash the will to succeed. About the Author and Collaborator: Karen was born April 6, 1937. At 6 months old she was stricken with rickets which her mother believed at the time left her afflicted with Cerebral Palsy, caused by the very high fever she endured. At three years old, Karen and her five year old brother were admitted to an institution. Their father had died when she was three.
Karen’s brother died in the institution from pneumonia. Ten years later, Karen’s mom took her to live with her in Pierre, SD, where she learned to walk, started school at age 13 in the 3rd grade, and completed high school in 1959. She entered Northern State College’s Special Education Program, completing two internships: Mentally Handicapped and Physically Handicapped. She then completed Student Teaching. She went on to teach for 20 years at the high school level. Co-writer Duane Hickler, received his education at Litchfield High School in Litchfield, MN and Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, IL. He farmed for 25 years and then became a District Sales Manager in the seed corn industry, recruiting sales personal and direct selling to farmers in a three state area. Reading and now writing have become major interests in his senior years.