My legs were not strong enough anymore !!!!!

 

“I was born with the Split-Hand Split-Foot Malformation Syndrome. To put it simply, because of this I miss most of my fingers and toes. Even though I have this syndrome, I used to be able to walk like any other normal person, but when I started getting older my legs were not strong enough anymore. It also found out I have arthritis in my knees, which makes it painful for me to walk any distance besides inside the house. Because of everything combined, I now go by wheelchair throughout most of the day. I wanted to try out different sports that I could play in a wheelchair, like a wheelchair tennis, basketball, hockey and handbiking. In the end, I enjoyed tennis the most and also realized that I was learning it pretty fast. That started eight years ago and now I’m travelling all around the world playing wheelchair tennis. I’ve ended as junior world number 1 twice, I’ve won plenty of singles and doubles tournaments, and my highest ranking so far has been number 6 in the quad category. The quad category is one of three categories in wheelchair tennis, specifically for players who have a disability in three or more limbs. Last year, in October of 2017 I was hospitalized because I had been feeling ill for a couple of weeks. After numerous tests and visits to the doctor, they found out I had colon cancer. Soon after I started treatment, which included 25 chemotherapy and radiotherapy cures. After this, I had 10 weeks off to give my body time to rest, to prepare for surgery in March. In March I had surgery to remove my whole colon. This was the biggest surgery I had ever had, and I had to lay in bed for four weeks before I was allowed to do any kind of exercises. When I had finally rested enough, I wanted to get back to playing tennis as soon as I could. We first started out with just 15 minutes, just to get the feeling of the ball, and being able to play again. We’ve slowly extended this length, and right now I am able to practice for two and a half hours for five days a week. I’ve also started playing tournaments again. I’ve won three singles titles so far and I’ve been a couple of doubles finals as well. I’m currently back at number 11 in the world, but I’m working hard to get back into the top ten. My goal is to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and win a medal there. After all the setbacks of the last year, I’ve learnt to appreciate every opportunity I get to go to tournaments, and it’s motivating me to always try harder. I hope you will support me on my road to Tokyo 2020.”

(Sam Schröder)

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