Arizona judge credits mother for his successes in life

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Mother's day is just around the corner, and there is a very special story of just how influential a mother's love can be.

It's often said there's nothing more fierce than a mother's love for her child, and Arizona Court of Appeals judge Randall Howe knows this better than anyone, as he attributes his success in life to his mother.

"My mother saw to it that I had the best medical care that I could get," said Judge Howe.

Born with cerebral palsy, Judge Howe was given up for adoption. However, as fate would have it, his adoptive mother, Mrs. Howe, would never give up on him.

"I would not be an educated person, I wouldn't be an attorney, I wouldn't be a judge if it hadn't been for her," said Judge Howe. "I mean, she advocated for me all along the way."

In the 1960s, schools were often unable to accommodate children with disabilities, Judge Howe's mother wouldn't accept no for an answer, even when her own mother said it would be easier to just have the future judge stay home.

"My mom told her mom that the law in Colorado is that children who are six years old should go to school," said Judge Howe. "Randy is six years old, so there is no reason why he shouldn't go to school."

Even though Judge Howe was an extremely bright student, he was self-conscious because of a speech impediment. That changed when a high school teacher convinced Judge Howe to join the competitive speaking team.

Judge Howe said at first, his mother was hesitant.

"She was always so fiercely protective of me. She was afraid that I would be hurt, 'cause I would fail, but once she saw what I was doing and I was succeeding, she came to every meet that I had," said Judge Howe.

After high school, Judge Howe graduated from Arizona State University's College of Business. He then graduated from ASU's School of Law, and eventually became the judge he is today.

Judge Howe said he couldn't have done it without the love of his mother.

"She did that at a time when there really weren't that many people who were advocating for people and children with disabilities, and that always stuck with me," said Judge Howe.