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A Soldier's Spirit

On November 26, 2003, Army veteran Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck’s spinal cord was damaged during a parachute jump while she was training for combat service. The hard landing left her paralyzed from the waist down. 

“All I could think about was my son, and that I would never walk again,” said Ce-Ce, a single mother. 

But the injury did not damage Ce-Ce’s spirit and determination. 

During her recovery at the hospital, she knew that even though she had no movement in her legs, she would find a way to walk again. At the spinal cord unit in Augusta, Georgia, Ce-Ce found out about adaptive sports and reconnected with the warrior within her. Participating in adaptive events and the spirit and camaraderie that came with competing changed the trajectory of her post-injury life.

Her resilience led her to achieve many victories, including winning more than 22 medals and competing in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. She also participated in the 2013 World Championship in Lyon, France where she won the bronze medal. Ce-Ce was at the top of her athletic career when she was informed the javelin was discontinued. Not one to give up, she tried shot put but ended up injuring her shoulder.

In spite of all these challenges, Ce-Ce continued to persevere. With the help of DAV, she set new goals for herself and found her competitive spirit once again when she participated in The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado, an event presented every year by DAV and the VA. 

Ce-Ce went on to complete her college education and continues to share her experience to inspire others. 

“DAV gave me the push I needed to live life outside of my comfort zone which is where life truly begins,” said Ce-Ce. 

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