Childhood immersed in deep darkness


Helen Keller’s full name is Helen Adams Keller, she was born on June 27th, 1880 in Tuscumbia (Alabama, USA). When she was born, she was seen as an intelligent and dynamic girl. Her development went pretty normal, until when she reached 19 months old, when she was diagnosed with meningitis. In a high fever, the condition stripped her of her hearing and vision. Since then her family were in despair seeing their little daughter grow up with hearing and vision disability without being able to do anything. As she grew up, her disabilities started to cause difficulties to Keller in recognizing her surroundings, and the girl who used to be so easy now turns angry and stubborn. However, God granted Keller the opportunity to meet her destined teacher - Mrs. Anne Sullivan, who later became Keller’s soulmate for 49 years.


Helen Adams Keller

The resilient girl 


With the help from Miss Sullivan, Keller started to become curious and wanted to know more about everything. In 1888, Keller officially took formal education at Perkins School for the Blind, where she met many people with the same circumstance and was taught Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. By 1890, Keller turned to studying linguistics at Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In 1900, Keller enrolled in Radcliffe College and learned via documents written in Braille. Besides the compulsory subjects, Keller learned multiple foreign languages like French or German, and she spent so much time studying her fingers started to shed blood. At this point, Miss Anne was still accompanying her as her lecture interpreter. Four years later, in June, 1904, she became the first blind and deaf person to graduate from college. 


Helen and her teacher Anne Sullivan (right) on a vacation at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

“Light in my Darkness”


Two years after graduating, Keller started to embark on social activities, serving the blind community and being an itinerant preacher in 39 countries across the world. Thanks to her preaches, she revived the spirit and faith in life for countless unfortunate lives with disabilities. Not long after that, Keller became famous and loved by many people. 


Helen and Alexander Graham Bell, 1903

In 1915, she co-founded Helen Keller International organization to fight for rights for the blind and the malnourished. In 1920, Keller continued to support the foundation of the American Civil Liberties Union, advocating for women’s voting rights, birth control rights, etc. Through her speeches and writings, she fought for the rights of colored people, researched the outbreak of fascism in Europe, eventually about nuclear energy many years later. Besides that, Helen Keller was the author of 12 books and many articles. In 1960, at the age of 80, she even published the book “Light in my Darkness”. In 1999, Time Magazine honored her by placing her in the top 100 most important people of the 20th century. Helen Keller remarked: “Personality is not easily developed in calmness. Only through challenges and hardships can our soul become stronger, can our dreams form, and can we be successful.”


Helen Keller’s life is an inspirational story about resilience, courage and faith in human abilities. At the same time, she was also the living proof that nothing is impossible for those who dare to dream and strive to pursue their dreams. 

Chelsea | Cameron Truong