As a child, I was fortunate to be the fastest runner in my class. In track and field events I was usually a few yards ahead of my next closest competitor – even further with shorter distances as I was quick out of the gate. I loved the anticipation of the race, the thrill of competition, and the privilege of receiving a ribbon. Many considered me to be quite lucky. But my luck didn't kick in until 4th grade when I woke up one morning and couldn't walk, much less run… 

My parents rushed me to the emergency room in our small town, concerned that I had inherited my father's CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease), a neurological disorder that causes damage to the peripheral nerves leading to muscle weakness and atrophy. (In my father's case, it was a lifelong battle the ended last year).

After weeks in the hospital, doctor speculation and diagnosis ranging from MS to Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), I was soon able to walk again. As it turned out, I had a mild case of Polio (Poliomyelitis), despite having received the vaccination as an infant. I was very lucky – both for early detection of the virus and the vaccination as it helped my body fight off the disease. And while you may not be able to notice my battle with polio today, I've never been able to run as fast as I once could. 

That didn't stop my parents from encouraging my perseverance – although my dad could walk, he played intramural basketball in college on an all-wheelchair team so yielding to excuses was never an option; Nor did it stop me from continuing my pursuit of competition – playing basketball, soccer and tennis, running cross country, and rowing crew in high school and college following that diagnosis.

That's why today's announcement of our partnership with The Special Olympics is so near and dear to my heart. I am proud of our association to help those with disabilities be able to experience that same anticipation of the race, the thrill of competition, and the privilege of receiving a ribbon. 

From today's announcement:

Today, DocuSign, Inc. (DocuSign®) announced a new sponsorship with Special Olympics to help minimize the hassles of paperwork. As part of the relationship, DocuSign has provided Special Olympics with its Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platform and eSignature solution to empower athletes, guardians, coaches, and doctors to electronically sign required documents like medical releases and participation forms – anytime, anywhere, on any device, securely.

“Reducing barriers to entry is critical for Special Olympics and why we’re grateful to DocuSign for providing us with this capability,” Janet Froetscher, CEO of Special Olympics. “We continuously look for ways to transform the way we serve our millions of athletes around the world. With DocuSign, athletes, guardians, coaches, and doctors will be able to complete required health screenings digitally, without the need for paperwork.”

I count myself lucky yet again to work for a company that cares enough to ensure we are enriching the communities in which we live, work and play. You can read more on our partnership with The Special Olympics, as well as our launch of DocuSign Impact and the DocuSign Impact Foundation.

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