Sophomore finds inspiration in Dolphin Tale film

Madelyne Williams

My name is Madelyne Williams and I am a sophomore at Kent Roosevelt High School.  I love to play video games, swim, and go to the beach. My favorite food is mashed potatoes followed by any chocolate dessert. You may have seen me at RHS football games cheering with cheerleaders, during the third quarter while in my wheelchair.  I have Cerebral Palsy, which means that my muscles and body do not work the way that I want them to; it is very painful. I wear leg braces called AFO´s. Sometimes they are uncomfortable and I do not like to wear them. When I am discouraged, I think about a special dolphin named Winter.

The Ocean is a wonderful place full of majestic animals, like the bottlenose dolphin.  The most popular dolphin of the Atlantic Ocean is Winter the dolphin.  Winter was found when she was two months old tangled in a crab trap line that cut off circulation to her tail.  Eventually, this led to deterioration and loss of her tail.  Most dolphins would not survive this situation. Winter adapted to her new physical form and made a complete recovery.

Winter was found in 2005 by a fisherman. She was sent to Clearwater Marine Aquarium for rehabilitation.  Since she lost her tail, CMA constructed a prosthetic tail to help her swim.  Winter was not always happy to have her new tail.  She would swim and thrash around her new tail so hard that she broke it.  They then realized that maybe her prosthetic tail was not comfortable and possibly hurting her, so they made her a new, more comfortable, soft tail that she seemed to have liked better.  She was happily swimming!

In 2011, they decided to film a movie about Winter, her rescue, and her rehabilitation.  Millions of people watched the movie called, Dolphin Tale. Winter has provided hope and encouragement to thousands of people with disabilities.  Like Winter, who uses a prosthetic tail, some people need to use prosthetic arms and legs. Some people also use braces called Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFO) on their legs to help them stand and walk.  These prosthetics and braces are not always comfortable, just like Winter’s tail.  Thousands of people visit Winter at CMA to see this most inspirational dolphin.  They then adopt the attitude that if Winter can do it, they can too.

With thoughts of the Ocean, and how Winter persevered, I know that I can too.