Hegreness to compete in 2012 U.S. Paralympics

12 years ago

By Gloria Austin
Staff Writer

    This spring, Daphne Hegreness, daughter of Bruce and Melodee Williams of Hodgdon, qualified for the 2012 U.S. Paralympics Athletics Trials for the 100- and 200-meter dashes held at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis June 29-July 1.
    She hoped to advance to the London 2012 Paralympic Games Aug. 29 through Sept. 9. Results were not known by presstime.
    Hegreness, who lost her leg to cancer, spent 2011 traveling around the country with her husband, Jeff, who completed internships for his graduate program in physical therapy from Ohio State University.
    “Jeff had a great opportunity to intern at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Ca., in their sports medicine department,” said Hegreness. “I filled in my days leading tours of the facility, which was a blast. I also was blessed with the opportunity to attend a week-long training camp, which helped me so much as an athlete.”
    Last August, Hegreness’ husband graduated and took a job in Colorado Springs.
    “When we moved here, it was important to find a coach for me to train with, and God answered in an amazing way,” said Hegreness.
     For the last eight months, she has been working with coach Charmas Lee, along with the Speed Track and Field Club team.
    “What I was unaware of when I first met with coach was that he too shares my faith in Christ,” she said. “To have not only an amazing coach, as far as the sport goes, but also a coach who shares my faith and challenges me both as an athlete and a believer is incredible.”
    Hegreness has also been training with a strength coach at the National Strength and Conditioning Association for the last six months.
    “For the last two years I have been struggling with seizures,” explained Hegreness. “As my training increases so have the seizures. It has been a challenge both physically and spiritually, but I have recently realized that Christ can use everything in our lives for his honor and glory if we let him.”
     Hegreness noted her coaches and trainers have been amazing in dealing with the seizures.
    “I have even been blessed with a few more ‘moms’ — my coach’s wife Janice and a few other moms on the club team — have taken great care of me whenever I have seizures at practice or at meets,” she said.
    Earlier this year, Hegreness became a sponsored athlete of the Willow Wood prosthetic company.
    “It has been an answer to prayer, as they have taken care of the cost, and making of my everyday legs and running legs,” she said. “I recently returned from a trip to Ohio where we spent the week working on my new running leg!”
    With all that Hegreness has gone through from finding out she had cancer to surgeries, losing a leg and then to competing in the Paralympics, she realizes how blessed her life is from her husband and her parents to her sister, Rachel Carmichael.
    “I have an amazing family, who has supported and loved me, who believe that with Christ, I can achieve anything, and who, whether I make it to London or not, will still be my biggest fans,” she said. “I have an incredible group of coaches and ‘moms’ and I serve and run for an amazing God.
    “I have come to realize that that is what it’s truly about … God. I run for Him, I run for His glory, not for my own,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without Him and all the amazing experiences would not mean anything with out Him either.”