Telling the stories of previous out Paralympians we usually said that they became disabled due to illnesses or accidents. But what is worse, to lose or never to have? To become disabled or to be born? To fall from the top or to spend your entire life on the bottom? What can be worse than a word ‘never’? “I have never” and “I will never”. Maybe it may sound cruel, but people born with disabilities are jealous deep inside their minds to those who became disabled, because they at least knew what it meant to live a full life.
But young Desiree, born with spina bifida, did not allow her ‘I have never’ to turn into ‘I will never’. In childhood she attended a summer camp in which she was told about wheelchair basketball. Aged 17 she became a professional sportsman. Desiree attended the University of Alabama, majoring in English and Creative Writing while continuing her career in wheelchair basketball through grad school at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. While there, she earned her Master’s degree in counseling. In 2007, Desiree competed on the U.S. Paralympic Team and was an alternate during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. Afterward, she spent a season abroad playing professional wheelchair basketball in Hamburg, Germany. And now the girl who thought that sport would never become a part of her life is taking part in her second Paralympic Games. Never say never. Good luck, Desiree.