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Kids with disabilities skate to new levels

Joshua Sweeney knows hockey; he’s played since high school. For the last three years, though, he’s played it a little differently.

“You learn how to do with the things you have. I couldn’t play standup hockey, so now I play sled hockey,” Joshua Sweeney said.

In October of 2009, his life changed.

“I’m a bilateral above the knee amputee. I was injured in Afghanistan. I was in the Marine Corps,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney now uses what he knows to help kids in his situation. United Cerebral Palsy and Incight teamed up for a day of ice sledding at the Desert Ice Castle.

“If you ask any disabled person in this room what this is about, it’s about being mobile, independence,” Judy May of Incight said.

“I think this sled hockey has gotten me stronger and out of the house more than anything else,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney is on the USA Professional Hockey Team Disability Division.

“Hopefully next year I’ll be on it for the Parolympics,” he said.

Incight works to bring together kids around the valley with disabilites, so they can draw strength from one another – and understanding.

“We need to identify local kids so we can create our own team here in the desert,” May said.

When asked how he doesn’t let his disability slow him down, Sweeney’s reply is simple.

“Just don’t. It’s easier said than done, but once you start doing things, and once you stop letting people tell you how you are, and start telling people how you are, then it just changes everything,” Sweeney said.

KESQ News Team


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