Off to the 2006 Paralympics

Athlete's mom attibutes slow down of fractures to exercise, sled hockey competition

I have never written to the foundation before, but I believe my son, Taylor, could encourage other children with OI.  He is now 18 years old with 90 breaks, and about 30 rodding surgeries.  I believe he has Type I, when he was diagnosed 13 year ago there were only 4 types that we knew about.  Through the Breakthrough newsletter I have learned there now are 2 more types.  He has the most common. 
He is very successful with his academic work. And for the last 3 years he has been playing a sport called Sled Hockey.  It is hockey for the disabled.  He is confined to a wheelchair and has been since 3rd grade.  However, that has never stopped him.  He started his hockey career on the children's team in Dallas, Texas 3 years ago, and now coaches that same childrens team. He quickly moved up to the Jr. National team and started traveling with them.  After 9 months of playing with them, a scout saw him play, and contacted the coach from the men's USA National Team.  This team was in the Paralympic's in 2002, which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they won the Gold Medal I might add.  The coach called Taylor to invite him to play on their team.  
Taylor has been playing with the men's team and traveling to Colorado once a month for the last year and a half.  They are traveling twice a month now to prepair and train for the 2006 Para-lympics held in Torino, Italy.  I had the pleasure of traveling to Sweden last year with him to represent the USA in the World Cup Games.  We came home with the Silver Medal and a spot in the Paralympics. 
I don't want to tell his entire story but I was reading the articles in the newsletter about exercising.  Since he has been playing hockey he has only broken 1 bone, it was his shoulder blade.  Since he began playing he would roll in his chair every day at least 1 or 2 miles, 3 times a week.  Since his game has increased he now rides a hand cycle, works out and swims.  He is very active and always has been.  I believe his exercise has helped him 100%. 
I have never written in because there are so many other people that have it so much worse off than he does or we as a family have had it.  In the beginning it was awful.  I didn't know if I was going to make it through it.  But I did, and we as a family did.  It has made him the person he is today.  He attends Southern Methodist University, majoring in Bio-Chemistry.  He has known since 5th grade that he wanted to pursue medicine.  Taylor plans to be an Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, and later he would like to go into research.
I just wanted to share my son with you and tell you what a blessing he is.  He is such a positive part of our family.


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