When Natalie Arthur was honored at a formal ball in the Adelaide Australia Marion Stake, she was supported on each side by two of her favorite priesthood holders and hundreds of other members in attendance.
Unlike the other 15 Laurel-age girls in the stake who were being honored that evening, Natalie could not walk to the stand by herself and be congratulated by Pres. Barry Lee. Having battled a degenerative brain disease known as Leigh's Syndrome since she was 6, Natalie must use a wheelchair, and is limited physically in what she can do. But her brain is alert, and she has not allowed her physical limitations to prevent her from learning to operate a computer, swim and take courses in social skills and relationships.Last year, when planning began for the annual ball and presentation of the stake's Laurels, Natalie's mother wondered if her daughter would be able to participate. But that wasn't a consideration for the other Laurels and her Young Women leaders. If they could do it, so could Natalie.
Each week she attended the program rehearsals and practiced with the assistance of her partner, Philip Hall. When the big night came, her courageous walk to the stand brought tears to the eyes of most of those attending.
Then pushing her in her wheelchair, Philip performed a simple dance routine in the center of the other Laurels and their partners as they went through their dance steps.
Throughout the rest of the evening, she and Philip enjoyed the festivities. When the ball ended, Natalie cried tears of joy because it had truly been a wonderful night she wouldn't soon forget.
The evening became a proud moment for Natalie - another in a long line of successes. She is now planning on learning to drive an electric wheelchair and attend the temple to perform baptisms for the dead.