HIGH POINT, N.C. — A wheelchair tennis program is now serving in the Triad.
What You Need To Know
Wheel Serve NC aims to help wheelchair tennis athletes play regularly
Their new Piedmont program is one of several Wheel Serve programs across the state
They’re looking for more players, and sign-up information is available at wheelservenc.com
Wheel Serve NC is a nonprofit that works to give wheelchair tennis players of all skill levels a chance to play regularly, from casual practice to tournaments. They have six primary programs. In addition to the new Piedmont program, the organization also operates in Charlotte, Wilmington, Asheville, Cary and the Sandhills region.
Players like Carrie Cleary say Wheel Serve is life-changing. She has loved playing tennis since she was 5 years old but was afraid that part of her life was gone forever when she woke up from an operation to hear nurses whispering about her leg.
“I had a surgical accident happen a little over two years ago and paralyzed my left leg, and just started playing wheelchair tennis a little over a year ago,” Cleary said.
Cleary loves to “smash” it on the court and is a fierce competitor in her custom-made pink chair. She got it through a grant with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and named it Trixie, which means “bringer of joy.” She said that joy came at just the right time.
Cleary spends a good amount of her time in her living room chair at her Pinehurst home when she’s not on the court. She refers to the zone around that chair as “my world.” That is where she manages her pain medication schedule, her various projects, her family’s calendar and many other aspects of her life.
Some days, the pain in her leg is so intense that the brush of her cat’s tail or the air flow from the living room ceiling fan hurts. She had to give up her accounting career, and she can’t drive a car because of her medications.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. You have too much time on your hands when you’re used to having none,” Cleary said. “When you’re used to … working all the time and now here you are, and you’re laying in bed and you’re depressed and sad. I found this program and all of a sudden it was just like a cloud had been lifted.”
Wheel Serve can’t completely take away the pain and grief of mourning the life she had before, but it’s helping her build a new one.
Cleary says sitting and doing nothing is both not an option and not who she is as a person. She hopes to share an organization that helps her so much with people in the Triad and across all of North Carolina.
“I just wish that more people could get involved with this and realize that this really does a lot for you when you run into certain things in life that aren’t exactly fair,” Cleary said.
Wheel Serve is looking for players to join its programs across the state. Sign up and program information is available here.
Original source here
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