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NY Times: Removing Obstacles for the Next Generation

1 Sep , 2016  


From the New York Times!

CLARKSVILLE, Md. — Growing up on a dead-end street in suburbia, Tatyana and Hannah McFadden raced their wheelchairs up, down and all around. Their family challenged cul-de-sac convention, but also fit right in.

Two moms, three children, a grandma and two dogs. A basketball hoop in the driveway. Purple wheelchairs scattered throughout the garage. Sports equipment, and prosthetic legs, stuffed in cramped closets.

“It’s been just such an amazing year,” Debbie McFadden said, standing alongside her daughters on the backyard patio. Dozens of camera phones clicked.

The buttercream on the sheet cake told the rest of the story: “Tatyana & Hannah Go for the Gold!” was written in red script across the icing, and two tiny wheelchairs raced on a fondant track.

The daughters were raised to believe they could do anything, no matter what the physical impairment, and this is what their uncommon determination has wrought: At the Paralympic Games, which begin Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, Tatyana McFadden could become the first athlete to sweep every distance in wheelchair racing. She will compete in the 100 meters and the marathon — and everything in between. She could leave Rio with seven gold medals. READ MORE