doesn’t think of herself as an inspiration. But it’s nearly impossible to hear
her story - standout Bellarmine athlete is paralyzed in a catastrophic
accident, then earns three advanced degrees and represents the U.S.A. in the
Paralympics - and not be inspired by the way she has handled what would have
crushed many people.
willingness to help others is also inspiring. Recently, she and her mother,
Bonna, established and endowed a scholarship for female athletes. The first
award from the Lois J. Taurman Endowed Scholarship Fund was divided this spring
between two athletes.
attended Bellarmine on scholarships, wants to give other women “the same
tremendous experience that I had, and the strength of the education that I
received at Bellarmine.”
Lois was the
only athlete in the history of Bellarmine College to participate in three intercollegiate
sports – basketball, volleyball and softball – in each of her four
undergraduate years. Following her 1983 graduation, she entered the Lansing
School of Nursing. But just six weeks shy of her nursing degree, she fell from
a ladder and broke her neck.
She never considered
giving up. She completed her degree in May 1985 – then earned a master’s in
education counseling from the University of Louisville and a law degree from
the Brandeis School of Law. She started a law practice in 1999. While in rehab,
she took up wheelchair racing, eventually making the United States
International Disabled Team.
She is a
member of the Bellarmine Hall of Fame and was named Alumna of the Year in 2006,
the same year the NCAA presented her with its “Inspiration Award.”
word again. But it’s not her word. “I’m just plugging away, playing the hand
that was dealt to me,” she says. And now, giving others a helping hand.