Fortitude: meaning courage or bravery, is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.
This tale of FORTITUDE is about a very special, very beautiful young woman. Her name is Taylor McQuillin who has become a shining star in the sport of softball.
Taylor was a dominant pitcher at Mission Viejo (California) High School. She had a record of 25 wins and one loss with the incredible ERA (earned run average) of 0.69. She led her team to its first-ever state championship. Taylor was selected by GATORADE the National Softball Player of the year.
I have many reasons for following the future of Taylor McQuillin. I am an Arizonan, and I live close to the University of Arizona where Taylor will be contributing to the success of the U of AZ Wildcats. Already, Taylor helped the Wildcats into the national softball championship competitions of 2018.
U of A is a PAC12 team…the PAC12 being the most successful conference in the country. This year, five PAC12 teams made it to the semifinals: Arizona; Arizona State; UCLA; Oregon; and Washington.
U of A was eliminated early-on though Taylor and her teammates gave their all.
The most important reason for the special attention I pay to this young beautiful athlete has to do with FORTITUDE. Taylor McQuillin is blind in her left eye and has a partial hearing loss in her left ear, as a result of a medical condition called Duane Syndrome. It’s something she has dealt with since birth. Taylor is quick to point out that she doesn’t consider it a handicap and has learned to live successfully with it.
What is Duane Syndrome?
“It is a rare disorder caused by a ‘miswiring’ of the medial and the lateral rectus muscles (the muscles that move the eye) in the fetus in utero.
“The exact cause of the syndrome is unclear, but appears to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.”
The lovely, courageous Taylor McQuillin should be regarded as an exemplar of what is possible when one’s character and integrity exhibit FORTITUDE…courage…bravery.