The Special Olympics start this weekend in Normal and that means the Illinois State Police are raising money through the annual Torch Run. But it means much more for one officer. Sgt. Diane Vanderkooy is not just running for a good cause. She has a niece with Down’s syndrome and through competitive sports the child builds the confidence she needs to overcome the physical hurdles.


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“It’s really a joy to see her be able to grow and come out because she’s only 8 years old but you would think she’s much older because her maturity and her level has come up her language skills have come up her communication skills have come up just because of Special Olympics,” Vanderkooy says.

Illinois State Police are one of the biggest contributors to the Special Olympics.   The event takes place this weekend at Illinois State University.

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