Abbey Curran was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that causes issues with muscle tone, posture and movement. When she was a child, she was told that she would never walk without holding onto something. Then, in her teens, long after she had conquered walking, she wanted to try out something much more aggressive: competing in the Miss Iowa Pageant! It had been her dream since she was a little girl. Following her own motto, she decided “I’ll try”. When people heard of her goal, they laughed at her.
To their surprise and even her surprise, Abbey not only competed for Miss Iowa, but she won the 2008 Miss Iowa Contest! With that victory, she became the first contestant with a disability to compete for Miss USA!
However, Abbey has never been content to just promote herself and her own achievements. For the past 10 years, Abbey has run a non-profit pageant for other young girls and women with special needs and challenges. It is called the ‘Miss You Can Do It Pageant‘ and it is the recent subject of a documentary on the cable network, HBO.
For her own personal accomplishments and her passion for helping others, Abbey is no doubt one of the most extraordinary people we have ever featured on InspireMyKids.
Learn about her amazing story in the videos below.
This first video, from 2008, tells about Abbey’s journey to winning miss Iowa:
This next short video, from HBO, provides a brief summary of the Miss You Can Do It pageant:
- Visit the Miss You Can Do It website to learn more about this amazing cause or Abbey’s personal website to learn more about her story
- Learn more about Cerebral Palsy at KidsHealth.org
- Understand what is like to live with Cerebral Palsy. This video documents the life of a 10 year old boy who has cerebral palsy and how his family life is different
Topics for Discussion:
- Why do you think Abbey decided to compete for Miss Iowa?
- What is the biggest lesson that you learned from this story?
- What is most special about Abbey? How does she inspire you?
- Visit the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) website to learn how you can help, such as creating a recycling program to benefit UCP
- Have an idea to make life better for those with Cerebral Palsy? Share it at the World Cerebral Palsy Day website
- Be kind to all people you meet all of the time. Always look for opportunities to help others. Here are some ideas from Random Acts of Kindness