Dwayne L. Murray, Jr
Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
I would like this grant so that I can get a handcycle. This handcycle would help me to achieve
my goals in basketball and also help me to get stronger so I could race in marathons. If I got
the handcycle I would use it well. I want to show my abilities by participating in marathons
and other handcycling events. I was born with Spina Bifida. I do not see myself as a person
with a disability. I see my disability as a way to show others my abilities. I have the ability
to overcome challenges in everyday life and sports. By sharing my disability with others I
educate my community and allow them to focus on my ability instead of my disability. My
wheelchair basketball team does this by going to high schools and allowing "normal"
people to use wheelchairs to play basketball. We hear many comments about what great abilities
we have. I really hope I get this grant and thank you for taking the time to read my
Dwayne L Murray Jr
December 13, 2005
This letter is to request assistance in acquiring a hand cycle for my son, Dwayne L Murray Jr.
His nickname is "DJ". DJ was born on July 28, 1991 at Fort Ord, California, while I
was in the US Army. He was born with Spina Bifida with Hydrocepholus and Bilateral clubfeet. He
is 14 years old and in the 9th grade.
I am a single mother raising DJ on my own and attempting to provide everything I can to my son.
In today's world, it is hard enough to be a single parent raising a "normal" child.
Raising a child with a disability adds extra financial burden if you want your child to compete
in sports. Sports equipment for a child with disabilities is extremely costly. I have attempted
to provide everything for my son that he requires to lead a happy and healthy life.
When DJ was born, the doctors told me that he wouldn't be able to do a lot of
"normal" activities. A social worker told me not to use the word "can't"
with him. Because of these words, DJ has tried many different activities including karate,
soccer, baseball, Cub Scouts, adaptive water and snow skiing, wheelchair tennis, kayaking,
canoeing, wheelchair basketball, and hand cycling.
DJ tries his very best to excel at everything he does. Competing in wheelchair athletics has
instilled a "can do" attitude in him. He shows this in his schoolwork, everyday life,
and sports. He currently has a 3.1 grade point average in school, which I am very proud
DJ currently plays junior wheelchair basketball with the Sterling Heights Challengers. There
are only 3 junior wheelchair teams in the state of Michigan. Therefore, we must travel to
various states in order to compete. Besides the cost of travel and lodging, there is the extra
cost of maintaining his sports chair in working condition. This, along with everyday living and
medical expenses, puts me at a financial disadvantage.
DJ has played wheelchair basketball at both the Prep and Varsity levels. This is his fifth year
with the team. While playing at the Prep level, he was awarded All Tournament Team and Most
Valuable Player at regional tournaments. This past August, he was one of 30 student athletes
selected to attend the Paralympic Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has also attended
wheelchair basketball camp at the University of Whitewater, Wisconsin and the University of
DJ has tried hand cycling and would like to add it to his athletic accomplishments. He would
like to participate in marathons and other hand cycling competitions/events. In order to do
this; he would have to train on a regular basis. It would be beneficial for DJ to have his own
hand cycle to train and compete with.
DJ's goal is to attend college, become a world-class athlete, and participate in national and
international competitions and, one day, the Paralympics.
Thank you in advance for your favorable consideration of this request.
Jean M Abbott