When I was 10, I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE).
EOE made me so sick I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to do anything. It was then, that I took up archery. Some days I would not be able to do anything. On days, I could not lift a bow my parents or friends helped me shoot. My disease made me feel broken. Shooting helped me feel better about myself, sometimes even make me forget I had a disease. Archery made me feel like a BOSS! Archery has taken me places I never thought could happen.
I even won a state ASA championship! It has worked miracles for me. For the last two years, I help work a shoot for people with disabilities. We started this clinic with the hope of giving people with disabilities overcome obstacles in their life like I did. This shoot is important because it lets people with disabilities know they shouldn’t let their disability limit them. I thought my disease would limit me and it hasn’t.
At the last clinic, I met a wonderful woman named Faye. She was standing off to the side of the arena with her head down. When I asked her if she wanted to shoot she held up her arms to show me her disability. Her arms were slightly bent. Ms. Faye had cerebral palsy which is disease that affects the muscle groups and their coordination. Ms. Faye looked at her arms and looked at me and shook her head and said “Can’t do it.” I told Ms. Faye, I didn’t think I could shoot a bow either when I started. I told her I would help her every step of the way. Ms. Faye reluctantly agreed but I promised to help her no matter what. On Ms. Faye’s first couple of shots the arrow didn’t leave the bow. A couple of times the arrow landed right in front of the bow. Ms. Faye struggled to hold the bow and I helped her hold it. Each error, Ms. Faye would look at me and say “See.” I would reply with “I have shot like that too. I always missed. We all start somewhere.” I also told Ms. Faye that on some days I even needed someone to hold my bow. I could tell Ms. Faye was discouraged and about to give up by the sad look in her eyes. But suddenly her shots started to get better. Her arrows flew a little further and straighter. Hope, came back into her eyes. After a bunch of targets, Ms. Faye finally hit the target! Ms. Faye looked at me with disbelief. She yelled “I hit the target!” Ms. Faye strutted around the arena. She was over the moon excited telling her friends and anyone who would listen she hit the target!
At the end of the day, I gave Ms. Faye her first medal ever. I gave her a medal for staying positive and not giving up when I know she wanted to. Ms. Faye didn’t let her disability stop her. She was able to shoot like a BOSS!!!!
From the staff
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