Christy Gardner is Trying to Get to the Paralympics
Christy Gardner is an amazing human being who was invited to train in California to reach her olympic dreams.
She is moving to California this month to start training with coaches at the Olympic/Paralympic Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista. She will train every day to make the olympic team. Christy is currently ranked 5th in the world in shot put and 11th in discus.
Christy Gardner is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant who was seriously injured in 2006 during an overseas mission. She lost feeling in both legs below the knee. Two fingers on her left hand were gone. Her skull had been fractured in two places, and the resulting brain trauma wiped out most of her memories. She lost her ability to speak and the hearing in her left ear. She had to re-learn words, spelling, grammar, and math from the third-grade level up. She had frequent, intense seizures. Doctors told her she would never be able to live on her own again. She proved them wrong.
Christy spent more than a year in rehab learning how to walk and live independently. She returned home to Maine and set out to live as normal a life as she could. But it wasn’t without struggles. Like many wounded warriors, Christy dealt with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. The turning point was when she got Moxie, her Golden Retriever service dog. Christy credits Moxie with being her hero and actually saving her life when she struggled to adapt to her new reality. It was during rehabilitation that she met a wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran who convinced her to try some recreational activities.
She went kayaking and water skiing and since she's always been competitive...she was back into the sports world in a brand new way.
She has been thriving as a para-athlete. With her injuries, she had to make a tough decision to have both her legs amputated. But doctors agreed it would actually give her more independence to wear prosthetics. She has been thriving with her new legs since 2016.
It's time for Christy's next triumph. Gold in the Paralympics. Shas won three national championships for para-athletes in the shot put and discus. She’s been first in the U.S. in both events every year and has placed first in those two events at meets in Italy and France as well.
As you can imagine...she needs support to get there.
How You Can Support Christy (and Moxie)
Christy has packed up her life (and Moxie’s) to move across the country and has to leave her jobs behind. It's a huge financial sacrifice. But with the support of Mainers, we can help her dreams come true!