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Jessica (Galli) Cloy

Jessica (Galli) Cloy

7-time Paralympic medal winner | Holds three world records | Class of 2006

Two college degrees, three world records and seven Paralympic medals later, Jessica (Galli) Cloy still remembers the loud cheers and the “tough love” she got from two difference-makers at Illinois.

“The first is Maureen Gilbert. ‘Mo,’ as many call her, works as the coordinator of campus life within the Disability Resources and Educational Services department,” Cloy (BS ’06/kinesiology; MS ’10/community health, health policy and administration) says from suburban Atlanta.

“I stayed a bit longer than most kids do at college, earning my bachleor’s and master’s degrees over 10 years. During that time, Mo became one of my closest friends — always there to listen to my concerns, celebrate my successes and support my endeavors.

“The second person to have a profound impact on me was my coach, Adam Bleakney.

“I wasn’t always the easiest athlete to coach but Adam stood by and allowed me to be me while always pushing me to be better.

“It is absolutely because of him that I saw the success that I did in my athletic career and I am forever grateful to him for his guidance, friendship and tough love.”