Helen Keller’s life continues to inspire

Published 7:23 pm Thursday, March 31, 2011

Patty Duke isn’t shy about sharing her story or her passion.

The Academy Award winning actress shared her struggles with mental illness during the 16th annual Helen Keller Lecture at Troy University on Thursday.

True to her style, she was candid and passionate in talking about the toll mental illness can take on an individual and families.

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Inspired by the life and work of Helen Keller, whom Duke portrayed in “The Miracle Worker,” the actress has seen first-hand how individuals can overcome obstacles, large and small. In talking about Keller, Duke described the experience of meeting her as “feeling as though I was standing in the presence of God.”

And what a remarkable experience that must of been.

Individuals such as Helen Keller are few and far between. She overcome multiple physical handicaps –including deafness and blindness – to become an author, activist and lecturer. She inspired millions of people to embrace life to its fullest and to rise above the obstacles facing them.

More than 40 years after her death, Helen Keller’s legacy lives on, in events such as the Troy lecture series; in books; in movies; in history.

And even today, her story and her life continue to be a source of inspiration.