Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Winner

Rachelle competed on the PBA Tennis Team in 2007 and has been a member of the US Paralympic team, twice in Track & Field and once in Table Tennis. She competed in track at IPC World Athletics championship Lille France in 2002 and in Assen Netherlands in 2006, and won a Bronze medal in the 100m sprint at the Parapan American Games in Rio Brazil in 2007. She has won numerous gold, silver, and bronze at US Paraplymic National competitions in track and field and also competed on her high school track and field team.

Rachelle is currently a sophomore at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) majoring in Physical Education and Exercise Science. During the fall 2008 semester, she taught tennis to underprivileged children at a local community tennis facility. She is currently working as an assistant tennis pro at a nearby country club and will be competing in USTA amateur tennis tournments. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in parks and recreation and become a certified tennis professional.

Rachelle was diagonsed with left hemiplegia at age 4 months with high spasticity. She was diagnosed with seizure disorder at age 4 and took medication until age 16. She had two surgeries in her left heel cord, one at age 3 and a second at age 10. She wore an AFO until age 10. She has a 20% vision fielld cut and had problems with migraines triggered by eye strain.

On-going participation in a variety of sports and physical training are the key factors in overcoming her multiple disabilities.

4 comments:

  1. so proud of you, you give me so much hope, just had a baby 8moth ago and found out she has a stroke in utero, we found out right away at birth but it has been really hard to understand and cope with the new. But when I see my daughter and people like you, I feel happy. My daughter is a miracle and the best thing that had happened to me and my husband.

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  2. Glad to read about Rachelle. I remember your posts when she was in high school. I've always kept her story in the back of my head b/c my almost 9 yr old LH Margaret loves running. She was on a local cross country team starting at 7 and she loves running. She can run the mile in 11 min 40 sec if she doesn't lose her focus :-) A friend of ours is a US Paralympic Weight lifting Coach. He is helping us get involved with some athletic competitions - but they are hard to find for the younger kids. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  3. Wow. Just like that other two mom's that posted a response...you give me so much hope. My two year old is already amazing us with her determination. I was sad for so long after finding out that my daughter suffered a in utero stroke. Stories like this make me smile. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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  4. Rachelle's story keeps me going...My little girl had a stroke...we found out at 5 days. She is doing amazing. I keep the picture of Rachelle running as a visual prayer for my daughter. Thank you for giving that to me.

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