I read “Joe Kennedy on proposed cuts to Special Olympics: ‘This will never happen. Full stop.’ ” (BostonGlobe.com, March 27) with both deep concern that the secretary of education would even consider eliminating federal funding for the Special Olympics and great appreciation for US Representative Kennedy’s swift and committed reaction.

The Special Olympics is not just an athletic program for people with disabilities. It is an organization that changes lives. When Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics, she changed the world. I know she changed my life before I even had the privilege to meet her.

My oldest child, Jonathan, was born with Down syndrome and four heart defects. The first time I saw him, after he was whisked away to nearby Boston Children’s Hospital, he was hooked up to more machines than I had ever seen. I stroked his tiny leg and whispered into his ear, “You may never be in the Olympics, but maybe you will be in the Special Olympics.”

Read the entire letter to the editor on the Boston Globe web site: