Blind Lawton girl wins top Cane Quest award
Every day, 13-year-old Lori Cox and 10-year-old Josephina Cox face a challenge that most people do not: blindness.
The Cox sisters, who are medically diagnosed legally blind like their father, Joseph Cox, reside in Lawton, and they attend Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.
Full of ambition and personality, the girls strive to be as independent as they possibly can, according to their mother, Autumn Majors.
One way they fulfill a lifestyle of freedom is by navigating around with canes. Lori Cox took her independence to the next level when she competed and won a top award in the fifth Oklahoma Regional Cane Quest competition, hosted by the school, last month.
She tied for the Scouts Top Girl award in the Scouts category, which included 30 cane users in grades third through sixth.
During the competition, Cox demonstrated her ability to properly use her cane by completing upper- and lower-body movements and techniques such as ascending and descending stairs.
She also followed verbal directions as she made her way through downtown Muskogee to reach destinations.
Cane Quest provided Cox with the opportunity to put to action the cane-usage skills she learned in the classroom, according to Rita Echelle, superintendent of Oklahoma School for the Blind.
The sixth-grader entered the competition with a clear purpose in mind, and she described the experience as "very exciting."
"I overcame my goal that I set for myself to get the top," she said.
In exchange for tying for first place, Cox received an award, medallion and T-shirt.
Majors said she was not surprised that her strong-willed daughter tied for a top award. Cox's four years of experience using her cane, in combination with her determination, set her up to score well.
Majors remains thankful that her daughter is independent by nature and believes it will benefit her in the long run.
"No one's going to be able to actually take advantage of her," Majors said. "She does not like to be helped. She will do things and complete things on her own, in her way. You can suggest (things) to her, but it's going to be her way in the end."