GOOD NEWS: Doppler Dave shares a inspiring story about 2 disabled students competing in sports
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Sporting events at the high school level have been around as long as most people can remember.
Competition for disabled students, however, is something that is relatively new. A local charity is coming alongside some special athletes and helping dreams come true.
Like many high school athletes, Jackson Shroeder is extremely competitive.
“I do shot put discus and powerlifting. Powerlifting is probably my favorite, discus, I’m probably the best at,” said Jackson.
Jackson is wheelchair bound, and for he and many other disabled athletes, being able to participate and compete in sports is a very important part of life.
“This is where he fit in and has really thrived. Sports is everything. It’s how I get through the day, if I didn’t have sports, I wouldn’t be the man I was today. I wouldn’t have the inspiration that I do. From my family, parents, coach wouldn’t be me,” said Darla Schroeder, Jackson’s Mother And Supporter.
Much of that encouragement comes from a local charity called One Chair at a Time, founded by Joe Chris Rodriguez, who also a disabled athlete.
“Through the years that I’ve noticed most, it’s sports is great, but we use the sports to mentor these kids and help them through all the adversities they have to go through in life being disabled,” said Joe. “And they get to go to these meats we take them to, they get to see other kids with the same, even worse disabilities, and to see their attitudes, their confidence grows in themselves. They get on the program we’re pushing a college is next, just like a regular kid and getting them to be independent.”
The cost of chairs and equipment needed to enable athletes to compete, unfortunately is quite exorbitant.
A little chair like this is runs $1,000. That’s insane, hands cycles are seven, eight to 10, maybe $15,000. Most people couldn’t just afford to do that,” said Darla.
One Chair at a Time raises the money necessary to equip aspiring disabled athletes and need your donations.
“One Chair at a Time as a small nonprofit. We’ve been blessed 100 percent of that money goes right back into the program. The equipment we buy, hands toggles are six to $7,000. The ratios are $3,000 throwing chairs that are about three. They send a donation in it goes straight back to the kids to help them buy the equipment to travel uniforms, so we have no paid staff,” said Joe.
The program now includes its first middle schooler.
“Taylor has been like Jackson in our program since she was seven years old. Her work ethic is great. She goes to our meet she’s in the 100 of the 200 the 400 the 800 shotput disc, put disc javelin,” said Joe.
Jackson and Haley both have lofty dreams that One Chair At a Time is helping them reach and then raising money to buy chairs for kids like Jackson has been invaluable test.
One Chair At a Time enables kids with disabilities to really chase that competitive nature and fill their lives with positive stuff.
Now that’s good news.
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