It is a consistent project to remind people that legal options regarding financial struggles exist for a reason. People run into unexpected hardships and shouldn’t feel shame when they have to seek help to reorganize their debts and their lives. Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t have to be seen as a shameful, dark moment.

In order to learn that, the American public can look at a current Olympic star and her family. Gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas, 16, has reached the epitome of victory on a global scale. And her mother is not hiding the fact from the media that she filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to stabilize her life.

It could be tempting for Douglas’ mom to hide from the fact that she turned to bankruptcy. But instead she admits to needing and seeking the help and that it has been a positive choice in her life. She says, “It’s my story, it’s part of me. I’m not even embarrassed about it,” regarding her Chapter 13 arrangement.

Compared to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 works as a renegotiation of debt. Rather than having all of her eligible debts erased, Douglas’ mother has worked out a repayment plan that allows her to pay back what she owes in a doable manner while keeping a sense of stability in her life.

The gold medalist’s mother has faced struggles. She is a single mother of four kids who is unable to work due to an undisclosed medical issue. Despite her hardships and the ways that the stress could have played out on Douglas’ mother and her family’s life, the family clearly finds intense, untainted joy in the victory of their teen star, now known as the “Flying Squirrel.”

Source: The Associated Press, “Gymnast Gabby Douglas’ mom filed for bankruptcy,” Aug. 6, 2012