NMA Survivors at the Challenged Athletes Event — They Are All Winners

24 Oct

Each year in October, the Challenged Athletes Foundation sponsors a triathlon for
both challenged and able-bodied athletes.   It is a demanding course, on a beautiful venue, at a park on the La Jolla Cove.  The park is full of amputees of all ages  from little toddlers to senior citizens.  The amputees are there for a variety of reasons — birth defects, cancer, accidents, military veterans returning from overseas, and meningococcal
disease.  It warms my heart to see the little kids running around on prosthetic legs, without a care in the world.  That is how it should be for all children — to
grow up and enjoy their childhood.  The wonderful advancements in
prosthetics have given these children and adults their lives back.  I
think of the members of the NMA team that we sponsored, who are amputees
because of meningococcal disease.  For all of them, a vaccine could have
made a difference and prevented them from getting sick.  Our survivors
have risen above their illness and have shown what determination can do.
They participate not only for the enjoyment of the triathlon, but also to help
raise awareness of meningococcal disease.  There are just so many
situations over which we have no control –such as accidents, cancer, birth defects — but we can do something about meningitis.  We can vaccinate our children
and protect them.  I talked to so many parents this weekend, who did not
know about vaccination.  I felt that we made a difference there.  I
love this event, because of the spirit of the athletes.  I just don’t want to see any more meningitis victims there.

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