Born with Melorheostosis, a rare birth defect and bone deformity, my parents and I relocated to the USA in 1998 to seek medical treatment for me. Over the next several years I would embark upon a long and unknown path to surgical intervention in hopes that these surgeries would enable me to walk. After a series of failed surgeries during a ten year span resulted in a below-knee amputation which also failed, a second amputation for knee disarticulation gave me hope and a sense of freedom eventually.
In July 2008 our lives were struck by tragedy with the death of my father, the sole breadwinner of our family to an aggressive form of brain cancer. His untimely passing brought upon many challenges including economic hardship and uncertainty. During the transitional period, virtues of resilience, a strong and loving family, grit, perseverance and faith served us well.
Whilst continuing to seek higher education and working part-time, I have steadfastly pursued athletics in hopes of recapturing lost childhood years to surgery, and in a way, fulfilling God’s purpose for me. Having learned that sports fuels self-esteem, I have embraced my disability with fortitude - transitioning from average athlete to becoming a contender, pushing boundaries and living life without limitations. As an avid and lifelong swimmer, I have swam for Raleigh Area Masters, competing in local open-water events including a 1.2m ocean swim in San Diego. A phenomenal life changing experience that I had at a Paratriathlon training camp (learning the technique to running after 20 plus years), has resulted in me taking to track racing with a passion. Today, with an even greater a passion to succeed, I have moved from ambition to achievement, incorporating swimming and running into my training regimen, building on strength and endurance, training as a sprinter under professional a track coach – preparing for 2016.
Recent awards and grants for a sprint leg from Challenged Athletes Foundation and a high performance joint knee from COPC valued at $30,000 and $10,000/- respectively, in addition to a gift of an Ottobock sprint foot valued at $5,000 from a well-wisher have allowed me to compete in US Paralympic sponsored meets. The 2014 track season was a challenging, yet remarkable season: despite hamstring injury and other running leg issues, I got to place 4th, 3rd and 5th at these meets which included the Desert Challenge Games in AZ; the UCO Endeavor Games in Oklahoma and the U.S. Paralympics National Championships in San Francisco: commendable achievements for a newbie like me against seasoned, elite athletes that included seven Paralympians.
To further my goals, I am consistently training during off season for a competitive year ahead. Training, nutrition and a need for a new prosthetic limb come at a price. Contributions from friends and well-wishers have allowed me to train and compete thus far. Your continued support and contributions/sponsorships will allow me to flourish as a contender. I thank you in advance for your contribution and favored support.
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