Leigh Anne Tuohy, Mother of Michael Oher, Visits OU Campus

November 15th, 2010

Michael Oher’s Mother Visits OU Campus

Posted Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Leigh Ann Tuohy, who adopted Micheal Oher and whose story was told in “The Blindside,” visited the Sooners’ campus to talk about the importance of acts of kindness.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Michael Oher’s story of being taken in by a wealthy family after struggling as an underprivileged teen is one many people know, thanks in large part to the movie “The Blindside.”

The movie, starring Sandra Bullock as Leigh Ann Tuohy, isn’t the whole story though. Tuohy, who adopted Oher, visited the University of Oklahoma’s campus to promote her new book and spread the message of how everyone can change lives for the positive.

“We just feel very humble that people have embraced the movie like they have,” Tuohy said. “We’re just kind of in shock and awe over it. We just go, ‘This is crazy.’

“We wish it had been about somebody else, but it’s about us.”

Leigh Ann Tuohy, her husband Sean and their two children Collins and S.J. adopted Oher, who is now playing in the NFL, but was once struggling on the streets.

“We learned so much more from having him than he ever learned from us,” Tuohy said. “It was a great situation for everyone involved. I think we all became great individuals because of what we did and that’s what we try to tell people.

“Small acts of kindness make you a greater person.”

While at OU, Tuohy spoke to the packed house about children, wards of the state, who could easily fall through the cracks if they’re not adopted.

“It gave me the opportunity to come tonight to talk about what you could do to plug yourself into this community to give someone a helping hand,” Tuohy said. “You don’t know when there could be a Michael Oher right here under your nose and you don’t have any clue.”

Tuohy hopes her story will inspire others to help those around them.

“He was an incredible young man,” Tuohy said of Oher. “All he needed was someone to believe in him. He just needed a little hope and love, which neither one of those require money, and it changed his life.”

Tuohy visited the Sooners’ campus in large part because Oher had considered playing football there. He even attended a football camp in Norman while he was in high school.