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Ryen’s Paralympic Dreams

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Competing means so much more to me than chasing medals or wins.

 I've been pushing boundaries since the day I took my first step. Growing up was not the easiest for me. I was in and out of hospitals and doctor's offices for most of my life. Doctors couldn’t understand why it was hard for me to stand, and why I was walking with an intense limp. After seeing many doctors my first diagnosis was hip dysplasia, this means my hip socket wasn’t staying in place. After 33 years I have had 15 surgeries which included hip, double knee, multiple Achilles tendon lengthening, 10 hammer toe surgeries, and multiple bunion removals. I have also had a full body cast, pins and needles in my limbs, ongoing spasms, and ankle foot orthotics to assist my walking. This caused numerous hospital stays during Christmas or school breaks, and physical therapy since the age of 1.

 Eventually, I was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia, which is a form of Cerebral Palsy (CP). Cerebral Palsy is a loss or impairment of motor function, which is actually caused by brain damage. It affects my body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance. It is 10 times harder for me to walk from place to place compared to an able-bodied person. It is extremely important for me to stay active, because it keeps me strong and mobile to get around, and allows me to continue to compete in competitive sports.

 My family raised and treated me like any able bodied person. I didn't want to be helped out in any way. I was as active, if not more active, than most people in my life and I've always competed against or with able bodied athletes. I started playing softball at the age of 9 and continued playing in high school until I tore both of my Achilles tendons. I’ve participated and raised money for AIDS/Lifecycle for 4 years; which is a 7 day, 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I set goals and I do everything I can to accomplish them. A few years ago, I had a dream to compete in a triathlon. I made the "impossible" possible and completed my first full triathlon with my race chair for the run section. Like all my other activities I gave that triathlon MY ALL. I do things beyond the normal pain threshold because otherwise I would not have a life. The truth is I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to.

 I’ve always dreamed of competing in the Olympics. I thought my dreams were pretty impossible to accomplish due to my challenges, but then I learned about the Paralympics. The past few years have completely changed my perspective. At the end of 2016 I was invited to train at the Olympic/Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where I resided in 2017. I trained and focused on my sport and dreams. Unfortunately, I was struck by an SUV while training on my bicycle and was no longer able to compete while recovering from the accident. A couple months later I was involved in a three car pileup on the freeway in Denver, CO. It was a very long recovery. I will not let these accidents get in the way of my dreams.

 I am still training and competing, in hopes of making my dreams come true. I am striving for an opportunity to compete on the world stage for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games and beyond. It won’t come easy, but I want to represent my country and be the best para-athlete that I can. Inspiring others means the absolute world to me and is one of the main reasons why I want to compete at the highest level possible. This is only the beginning!

 Behind every successful person is a team of supportive people who are a large part of their journey! Competing and training at this level costs money for equipment (such as my handcycle costing around $18,000), registration fees, gas and travel, motel/hotel, and proper nutrition. I can’t compete at this level without your help, so please join me and be a part of my Paralympic Dreams.

 Team work makes the dream work.
 With Love, Ryen Reed
 Help spread the word!
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Donations 

  • Becky Sox
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Carmen Cutter
    • $200 
    • 10 d
  • Bernice Detig
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Tom Smith
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Katy Grubbs
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
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Organizer

Ryen Reed
Organizer
San Diego, CA

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