My name is Dawn Kratzer and I have cerebral palsy.
My whole life I have been challenged with finding ways to make things work for me. You see, my body tends to let me down a lot.
My life long dream has been to train with martial arts and to better myself and my physical capabilities. For years I was told by trainers and coaches that it would be too hard to train me and “don’t bother”. Every time I heard this and was turned away I felt a little piece of my dream die.
Then I met a wonderful kick boxing trainer who took me under her wing and worked with me. She helped me to realize that my dream really could come true.
And that is when I found a local coach with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who saw the potential in me and stepped in to help. My life changed forever in the most wonderful way. I was finally living my dream.
For almost five years I have found a passion and love for the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It has helped me become more confident on and off the mat in what I am able to do. My Journey with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, has been different than most as I am the only adaptive grappler in the area. Having a physical disability makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a little more challenging than most, but the awesome part is that it is not impossible.
Having this “disability” cerebral palsy has taught me that I have the ability to overcome anything I set my mind to.
Recently I have been made aware of an opportunity that would be a true game changer for me.
This opportunity is the next step on living my dream.
It is the Grapplers Heart Tournament. This is a tournament for adaptive grapplers from around the world. Grappler’s Heart is the first tournament designed for grapplers overcoming disabilities. Competitors range from those entering or returning to physical competition for the first time to those already competing in able-bodied tournaments. Grappling provides an outlet for athletes to demonstrate not only what their bodies can accomplish, but also what true inspiration lies within their hearts. This year’s event will be held in New York City in April.
I am inviting you to be a part of my journey by asking for your support. Whether it be through a donation or by sharing I would be very grateful.
The total cost for this would be around $3000. That amount would cover my flight, accommodations, food, as well as any other documentation I would need for this event. I am grateful for this opportunity and for any support.
The adaptive grappler community is small but is growing. I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about myself as I continually get better at this activity that has truly changed my life.
I would like to thank you in advance for considering my request. This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime, and I feel very fortunate to be able to participate.
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