Brenna, Huckaby dreamed of becoming gymnasts, but cancer and leg amputation put an end to her dreams. Girl found in para-snowboarding. 8 years after diagnosis she is twice Olympic champion and mother of a little girl. “Pravmir” tells her story.
Brenna. Photo: Ari Michelson / Parents.com
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Brenna, Huckabee not always been a snowboarder. A little girl brought her to the gymnasium. Brenna got out, and, according to the coach, it was a great sporting future. But at the age of 14 during a workout, the girl felt pain in the knee. In September 2010 she was diagnosed with “osteosarcoma” – bone cancer.
Brenna admits that the chances of beating the disease were slim. The chemo and drugs her tumor began to increase. When she grew to the size of grapefruits, doctors have warned that to save the girl’s life can only amputation of the right leg.
“She asked me one question that I couldn’t find the answer on her prognosis. I couldn’t tell her – mother says Brenna Christy Huckaby, who was herself a nurse.
She looked at me and said, “Mom, it’s okay, it doesn’t matter because I had a very good life.”
And I thought, “Wow, I don’t think that I, an adult, can say, can meet danger””.
After the first training, the mother saw her daughter as she was before the cancer
A month after the amputation, Brenna began to learn to walk on a prosthesis and began to look for role models around you. “When I was told that a one-legged gymnasts is not there, I searched more and more and by about the third page in Google I found a cheerleader. Helped me a lot to communicate with her, and we’re still friends.”
“For a long time my life looked like this: “Go to school, go to the gym”. After cancer treatment, it turned into “Go to school, go home.” It was then that I realized how much I’d lost,” says Brenna.
After the girl was able to walk again on a prosthesis, the family began to look for a new occupation for her. She tried swimming, soccer and water skiing, but nothing came up. Finally, Brenna’s mom was invited to try out skiing at the National Ability Center in Utah, where the train people with disabilities.
Mom Brenna Christy Huckaby says that during the difficult and hard the first workouts snowboarding she finally again saw their daughter as she was before the cancer.
“I watched how she overcomes this. When she came down the slope, her eyes burned, the light was coming straight from the heart. I haven’t seen him since the beginning of her treatment, and after everything we’ve been through, I didn’t realize what had happened until he came back again,” says Christie.
“She jumped off the Board and said, “Mom, it’s like (gymnastics) the balance beam!” I was glad she found a new passion in life.”
For the sake of Brenna could train her family made a hard decision: Brenna’s mother moved to Utah, and his father and two older brothers were living at home.
In 2014 the girl on your first national championship took third place, and in 2017 – took the gold in the world championship. Finally, at the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang she won two gold medals. So, despite the cancer and the amputation of her dream about sports victories came true – though not so as the girl planned.
When I train, I always think about my daughter
Come true and another dream is transitory. She always wanted a big family and their children, but the doctors warned that due to the severe treatment, most likely, the girl can’t get pregnant.
The stronger was her surprise when, after the ordinary examination the doctors found out Brenna is in her fifth month of pregnancy. “The day I learned about this miracle, was the best in my life – no medal can compare with that,” she says about herself.
In 2016, the athletes had a girl Leela. Thanks to the support of her husband Tristan, Brenna was able soon to return to training.
Time to get back to Mommy hood and snowboarding as we gear up for South Korea. The Paralympics are held at the same venue as the Olympics, we are just two weeks after! We will have our own opening and closing ceremonies and the hype is just as big. I compete in snowboard cross and banked slalom! I am in LL1 classification which is made up of women with amputations above the knee, double below the knee amputations, and MS. I hope y’all send me pictures of you and your families cheering on the moms, dads, women, and men of Team USA 😍 I compete March 12&16, Korean time. #athlete #parasnowboard #womeninsport #womenempowerment #mommy #happy #motherhood #motherdaughter
“I have no more freedom to leave the house and go to the gym (or other important place). Everything I do is well planned. When it’s her nanny? She’s still going to sleep? She was eating? Her nanny is free? When Tristan (my husband) coming home? Everything revolves around her.”
The birth of his daughter changed not only the life, but motivation is temporary. “When I train and participate in competitions, I always think about her. To combine work and motherhood is difficult. I always have to be on top, otherwise I did nothing. It is difficult and at the same time exciting because I can share all their experiences”.
Materials on USA Today, NBC, Parents, National Ability Center
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