Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
My name is Abraham, and I am 7 3/4 years old. I am in 2nd grade at the N.E. Miles Jewish day school in Birmingham, AL. My favorite thing about school is that you get to write a lot. I love gym class, oh and I violine classes. When I am not at school, I like to play sports. I was on the Lakeshore Track & Field team for the last three years. I raced in the 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m and the 800m races.
In Field, the discs, javalone, shotput and softball. I just started basketball on the Sharks team. I want a handcylce because I can ride around the neighborhood with my friends.
Abraham Joshua Hausman-Weiss
Abraham Joshua Hausman-Weiss was born on November 16, 1997 in Los Angeles, CA. He was, from birth and has always remained, the sweetest, most charismatic child we have ever known. In the face of all that has been so traumatic in his life, his attitude remains one of commitment, conviction, perserverance and uninhibited desire to live and experience all life's. The mantra his mother taught him from the beginning has become his life's calling: "I must be grateful for all the gifts that God has given me."
Abraham was born with a closed nueral tube defect (a lipomeyelomeningocele), a rare form of Spina Bifida. Due to the fact that his spine was closed in utero, Abraham is not afflicted by hydro-cephalous or kiair malformations. However, due to the lipoma that was tethered around his spinal cord, two lamenectomy surgeries were required, both of which resulted in swelling around his spinal cord causing paralysis of his bladder, bowel and legs from his waist down. As a result, Abraham utilizes a manual wheelchair as as HKAFO's (Hip Knee-Ankle-Foot-Orthoses) that come up to his rib cage. With the help of forearm canes, Abraham has mastered a swing-through method for ambulation in his braces for several hours a day. His independence in his wheelchair as well as his braces and canes, has produced an incredibly strong physique with which he compensates well for loss of use in his lower extremities.
Upon moving to Birmingham, Alabama the summer of 1999, when Abraham was nineteen months old, we discovered Lakeshore Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes independence for children and adults with physical disabilities through sports and fitness oppurtunities. In no time, Abraham made himself at home in Lakeshore. First participating in a weekly afternoon "Learn To Swim" program as well as servingas the "Toddler-Mascot" for Super Sports Saturday, Abraham eventually began to participate in the after school sports program. Lakeshore has provided Abraham with opportunities to play sports and socialize with disabled peers and has given him exposure to countless wonderful role models, and helped him to develop tremendous self-confidence.
Three years ago, Abraham joined Lakeshore's JR Track & Field Team and has competed regionally each spring since, in track and field events. This past summer, 2005, was Abraham's first time participating at the Junior National Disability Championships in Tampa, FL. Competing in the 60, 100, 200, 400 & 800 meter races as well as the shot-put, discus and javelin and softball throw. Abraham earned 1st place in seven of his nine events. Additionally, he became the National Record Holder in discus for the "A" division (7-10 year olds) with an F5 classification.
This past spring, Abraham also played catcher for the A's. Coming up to bat like all the rest of them, when he got a hit, a teammate would help as Abraham pushed himself to get to first base, and if and when second base was a possibility, his helper would keep running. Abraham's participation in this mainstream Little League is a testament to his passion for sports, whether or not he is at the top of the game. This season, Abraham is excited to join Lakeshore's Jr. Basketball team, "The Sharks." This will be another "first" for Abraham and we are confident that he will approach basketball with all of the excitement and vigor he has always shown. Abraham's high level of confidence, independence and social skills are directly attributive to his continuos involvement and participation in sports and athletics.
Now in the second grade, Abraham attends the NE Miles Jewish Day School. A lover of all that he learns, he moves fluidly between the religious and secular, the English and the Hebrewaspects of the cirriculum. He plays piano and has become quite fond of the Harry Potter series and anything and everything that has to do with knights in shining armor and damsels in distress!
Believe it or not, Abraham plans to become a forensic scientist. While he is clearly young to truly decide his career, (yes, his plans change frequently) he says he "wants to solve mysteries like detectives and use a microscope like a scientist." He was quite pleased to learn that there was indeed a profession, which combined these particular skills.
Abraham would love to have a bike with which he could keep pace with his peers. While at the Jr. National Disability Games in Tampa this summer, Abraham "test-rode" a demo handcylce by Invacare/TopEnd. There was no stopping him as he rode past all the vendors and through the breezeway smiling from ear to ear. More than anything else, Abraham wants and needs to be seen by others the way he sees himself: not disabled or uniquely abled or differently abled-just able...to be a friend, to have fun and to dream of becoming the best that he possibly can be.
Natalie & Scott Hausman-Weiss