Three young HSPers making a difference
HSP cyclist raises adaptive sports awareness
July 15, 2017
The leader of the expedition, Owen Anketell, from Hudson, Massachusetts in the USA was operating a handcycle, while his two friends were on bicycles. Anketell has a condition called hereditary spastic paraplegia, which means the muscles in his legs aren’t strong enough to support him. He uses crutches and a wheelchair to get around most of the time. But that hasn’t stopped him. He not only cycles on a handcycle but also skis, water-skis, golfs and plays tennis.
“This summer I’m going to be biking from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Fla., to raise awareness for adaptive sports,” Owen said. “I wanted to go out and do this ride to show people and help everyone else that faces the problems with being disabled and thinking they can’t go out and do everything everyone else is doing, because there’s ways to adapt it to make everything possible.”
Anketell said he wants to bring attention to the fact that sports participation is possible for people with a wide range of disabilities. “I think it’s a great way to do it just to show people I’m out there doing it right now,” he said. He’s been stopping along the way to speak at hospitals and other groups about adaptive sports. “Whether I’m talking with people that are disabled or people that aren’t, they can get out there and have the experience of a lifetime,” Anketell said.
He said he hopes a lot of people learn about adaptive sports as a result of his journey down the coast. “There’s a way to adapt for anyone in any situation,” he said. “You’ve just got to find the right people to help you get there. Anything’s possible.”
SOURCE: Suffolk News-Herald. Published Saturday, July 15, 2017
By Tracy Agnew
HSP Skateboarder competing and inspiring others
Shane Brigham is 24 years old and has been skateboarding for half his life. He is using his disability and talent to inspire others.
Powerful, charismatic, full of energy and positive are just a few words Shane’s friends use to describe him.
While some could let a disability slow them down or even define them, Shane Brigham has spent his life inspiring others. Shane was born with hereditary spastic paraplegia but he hasn’t let that stop him from following his dream.
Click the link at the bottom to watch the video.
SOURCE: 9&10 News Posted: Jul 14, 2017
By Whitney Amann, Reporter
See TV news story here, including video of Shane skateboarding: http://www.9and10news.com/story/35891218/traverse-city-skateboarder-competing-in-california-and-inspiring-others
Teen race car driver: ‘My disability doesn’t limit me’
MASON, MI – In the Parishes’ family business, a quarter of a pound of tire pressure can mean the difference between winning and losing.
That’s why Jeff Parish found himself leaning down on the concrete on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon to let air out of the left front tire of his son’s No. 36 bandolero race car. On-the-fly adjustments are part of the Friday night experience in the pits at Spartan Speedway, and Jon Parish is always looking for an edge.
Something must be working. In his short three-year career, the 13-year-old from Springport has won 11 feature races, including the 2015 Bandoleros Junior Bandit Division Championship. His $7,000 bandolero car looks like a go-kart and sounds like a lawn mower. Bandoleros are beginner cars for youth ages 8 to 14. Traditionally, they are the first car a driver ever races.
But don’t let the delicate reverberation of his engine fool you. Parish gets his car up to 70 miles per hour on the back stretch. He also made the rapid ascent to the senior division, which means he no longer has a restrictor plate in his car that impedes it from going faster than 50 miles per hour.
Competing is in his blood. His dad was a driver. Two of his older brothers have also gotten behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, the comparisons don’t end there. Four of the five Parish boys share a hereditary disorder that causes their lower limbs to progressively grow weaker. It’s called hereditary spastic paraplegia.
His determination to live a normal life is so evident that he doesn’t even know what the initials of his disorder stand for, interrupting his father to ask.
“My disability doesn’t limit me,” Parish said. “It gets progressively worse, but it will only get worse if you get lazy and give up. I maintain an exercise program and do therapy. I push through.”
Zach Parish, 15, is Jon’s older brother and a former driver. Today, he is rolling through the pits in a royal blue wheel chair with a matching shirt featuring his school mascot and a fedora on his head. He is an honors student at Springport High School. His father quipped that he’s “the brains of the operation.”
Zach Parish, whose hereditary spastic paraplegia has been more aggressive than Jon’s, finished the 2015 season second on the senior leaderboard at Spartan. For most, that would be a successful campaign.
They put him in a pair of casts to straighten his feet to attempt to make him walk normally. The hospital put him through a rigorous regimen of therapy and workouts to ensure that he would not have to use a wheelchair anytime soon.
“The more I do, the longer I hold this thing off,” he said of his weakened legs. “I am not going to let this get in the way of my dreams.”
SOURCE: Lansing State Journal Published May 30, 2017
by Cody J Tucker