“Don’t give up!” That’s what Army Veteran Ardrena Bailey says about dealing with setbacks.
Every year, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games presents the Spirit of the Games Award to the Veteran that through their athletic achievement, leadership and support of their fellow Veterans exemplifies the values of the games. Last summer, Ardrena Bailey, an Army Veteran from Washington D.C., demonstrated that whether excelling in sports or powering through the adversities of everyday life, she is an optimist and inspiration to others. Bailey is a fierce competitor on the court and equally so supporting her teammates and celebrating their successes.
Bailey was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990. By 1996, she was using a wheelchair full-time. In 1997, she met Pam Gorman a VA recreation therapist and was introduced to adaptive sports. Bailey had not been into sports since high school, but was motivated to get her life together and sports created a new beginning.
Bailey was recently featured in the latest episode of VA’s The American Veteran. Watch the whole episode here.
If your condition is impacting your mobility, strength, endurance and/or balance reach out to your VA recreation therapist, physical therapist or other rehabilitation professional to get started in sports or a fitness program. Wheelchairs or other adaptive equipment allow you to compensate for these situations and enable you to participate at a higher level.
Getting involved in fitness and activity is the best medicine and will make a difference in your daily life! The 2018 National Veterans Wheelchair Games are in Orlando, Florida, July 30 – August 4. While the athlete registration deadline has passed, you can still sign up to volunteer — click here to start your application.