The Olympics have always been inspiring. Athletes push the limits of the human body, stretching what is possible. Maybe nobody can inspire you like 11-year-old Paralympics hopeful Breanna Sprenger. Born without legs, one arm and many other medical problems, Breanna started aquatic therapy when she was just 3 years old.
“I like swimming so much because I can do things in the water that I can’t do on land,” Breanna says.
Her time in the pool was initially designed to help strengthen her core, heart and lungs, but it has fueled her desire to be a Paralympic swimmer in 2016. Today, she practices freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke.
"From day one, every experience we've had they've always made an effort to treat her, take care of her well and make sure that her self esteem is up. Not to treat her as someone with a disability. That's why we stick with the Cleveland Clinic."
Ann Marie Pace, MS, PT, of Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s says, “She’s only 11, so four years from now, she will be 15 and she will really be a prime candidate at that age. She has the determination of about five people.”
Breanna swims with a competitive adaptive team and competes all over the country. She didn’t qualify for this year’s Paralympics in London but hopes to make a splash at the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro.
“Don’t ever doubt a person with a disability because they can prove you wrong,” she says.
Breanna is also a cheerleader, takes dance lessons and hopes to be a child life specialist at a children’s hospital so she can help other kids facing challenges. She is also learning to walk on a new pair of prosthetic legs so she can be more mobile.
"From day one, every experience we've had they've always made an effort to treat her, take care of her well and make sure that her self esteem is up. Not to treat her as someone with a disability. That's why we stick with the Cleveland Clinic," says Breanna's dad, John.
Cleveland Clinic Children's