Leigh Anne Tuohy speaks at women’s conference - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Leigh Anne Tuohy speaks at women’s conference

You may not be able to be everything to everybody, but you can make a positive difference in the life of someone.

That's part of Leigh Anne Tuohy's message.

She's the woman whose story inspired ‘The Blind Side' movie.

Leigh Anne Tuohy admits not everyone has the resources to do what she and her husband did.

"Not everyone can adopt a 6'6", 350 pound African American young man. I tell people he's hard to buy clothes for, he eats a lot, but there is something that everyone can do. We all can make a difference," Tuohy said.

She said the movie ‘The Blind Side,' which portrayed her family's story, was surprisingly accurate as to how Michael Oher ultimately became part of their family.

"Exactly like the movie portrayed, we drove by him on the street and did one simple act of kindness, we turned our car around. And the movie was scarily accurate. They did a wonderful job with it," she said.

Oher also became a football star and now plays for the Baltimore Ravens who won the Superbowl this year. She said it was a moment like no other.

"I could see him across the field and the confetti was coming down, I'm not gonna cry, and I just bee lined over to him and he was just banging on me, 'we won the super bowl!' And I was like, 'I don't have a helmet on, quit hittin' me!' But it was just the most surreal moment that you can imagine," she said.

Tuohy was the keynote speaker at this year's Southwest Louisiana Women's Conference. She said everyone can do something to make someone's life better and help them realize their potential.

"All we did is invest time in a young man who had nothing and all of a sudden he is an extremely valuable, contributing member of society and you sit there and you look at people and you go, 'wow, if I invested time in them, who could they be, what could they become? And it keeps us up at night. If someone as immensely valuable as Michael Oher almost falls through the cracks, can you imagine who gets left behind?," she said.

She and her husband tell their story in the book, "In a Heartbeat." Tuohy is a native of Memphis, Tenn., who graduated from the University of Mississippi – Ole Miss – and now owns an interior design firm.

Also at Thursday's women's conference, they announced the winner of this year's Jack Doland Citizen of the Year Award.

This year, it was given to Christy Papania Jones, the founder of the St. Nicholas Center.

The center provides services to children with autism, developmental delays and neurological disorders.

Jones is also a counselor at Immaculate Conception Cathedral School.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Moss Bluff veteran honored in his home

    Moss Bluff veteran honored in his home

    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:23 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:23:13 GMT

    On Friday morning, the Lake Charles American Legion, post 551 arrived at the family home of Clarence Chantlin to bestow him with a veteran cap and a letter of appreciation for his service. Chantlin was only 18 years old when he was aboard the USS Emmons as it came under attack by Japanese kamikaze pilots. Chantlin says that he came to the deck of the ship and saw it all burning down. "I went through so much in my life that it makes me humble today at my age. When I heard t...

    More >>

    On Friday morning, the Lake Charles American Legion, post 551 arrived at the family home of Clarence Chantlin to bestow him with a veteran cap and a letter of appreciation for his service. Chantlin was only 18 years old when he was aboard the USS Emmons as it came under attack by Japanese kamikaze pilots. Chantlin says that he came to the deck of the ship and saw it all burning down. "I went through so much in my life that it makes me humble today at my age. When I heard t...

    More >>
  • Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office investigates theft in Westlake

    Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office investigates theft in Westlake

    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:22 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:22:17 GMT
    (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)(Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

    Calcasieu parish sheriff's office investigates theft

    More >>

    Calcasieu parish sheriff's office investigates theft

    More >>
  • Westlake marching band beats the heat

    Westlake marching band beats the heat

    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:15 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:15:26 GMT

    Westlake High School's marching band doesn't have camp until next week, but freshmen joining the band were out practicing Friday. But they weren't going through formations on the football field. They were in the parking lot.

    More >>

    Westlake High School's marching band doesn't have camp until next week, but freshmen joining the band were out practicing Friday. But they weren't going through formations on the football field. They were in the parking lot.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly