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AWARE Ink Newsletter

Athlete, Self-Advocate – And Now – Author

Woman Fulfills Dream of Writing and Publishing Her Own Book

Writing and publishing a book has always been Ruth’s dream. If you know Ruth, you know that she’s motivated and dedicated to reaching her goals.

In October 2021, her dream came true as her book, Heart and Souls of Special Olympics, became available on

“It feels really good, I cannot believe it,” Ruth said.

AWARE Case Manager Kassie Fjare has worked with Ruth for the last two years and checks in with her regularly.

“Ruth always has something going on and is pretty impressive,” Kassie said. “It’s good to see her meet her goals.”

Ruth is not only a gold medal Special Olympian – but she also lives in an apartment on her own, works 20 hours per week at Safeway making flower arrangements, gets around town on her own by biking or taking public transportation, and cares for her dog named George. She has even taken on difficult, full-day hikes to Mt. Baldy and Mt. Sacajawea in the Bridger mountain range.

Now – she can also add published author to her list of accomplishments.

Ruth’s inspiration for her book is the athletes and families who participate in the Montana Special Olympics. To gather stories, Ruth along with her mentor and coach, Alean, created a questionnaire and distributed them to participants, parents, siblings and coaches during Special Olympic events.

The duo collected nearly 300 responses during a two-year time period asking questions such as, “What does Special Olympics mean to you?” “What is your best memory?” or “How has Special Olympics affected your life?”

Four years later, a beautiful 102-page book filled and formatted with inspirational stories was released. Ruth and Alean met weekly to write and make plans to publish the book.

An advocate and an athlete

Ruth became involved in Special Olympics when she moved to Montana eight years ago. She was impressed by the program in Montana and has participated ever since.

“It’s good for me because I meet a lot of friends, and I get to be around people who are like me and respect me,” Ruth said.

Clearly an admirable advocate, Ruth is a Special Olympic Global Messenger and loves delivering speeches that promote inclusiveness and encourage people to become involved.

Ruth said that she has given about 10 speeches as a Global Messenger. Recently, she talked to an audience at Murdoch’s in Bozeman, Montana.

“Once I put my mind to something, I know I can do it,” Ruth said.

While Ruth has collected gold medals in horseback riding, soccer, and the mile run, her favorite event is the triathlon. An event that includes swimming, biking and running, the 41-year-old woman broke the Montana Special Olympic triathlon record in 2021.

Ruth says that she taught herself how to compete in the triathlon and trains on her own three days a week. Eventually, she would like to participate in an Ironman triathlon.

“I like doing it, and I like to push myself,” she said.

Get the book

Ruth is looking forward to continuing her effort in writing books with her coach and mentor, Alean. They're planning to write her next book about Special Olympics and the effects of COVID on the athletes.

If you’re interested in reading Ruth’s book, Heart and Souls of Special Olympics, it’s available to read through Kindle Unlimited, or you can buy a hard copy for $7.99 through Amazon.

To access the best-selling book, click this link:

While you’re shopping, AWARE would love your support. Check out Ruth’s book or any of your orders with Amazon Smile!

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