Independent. Confident. Passionate. These are the three words Arizona State University sophomore Katie Dickey uses to describe herself, and they have nothing to do with her wheelchair.
If someone saw her in the pathways of ASU, they might not guess she plays for a collegiate soccer team, coaches soccer and is training on the National team for her league in preparation of travelling to France to play in a world-cup game. They might not guess she has won numerous awards and accolades in the athletic realm.
They might not guess these things because Dickey has a genetic disease called Distal Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a neuromuscular disease that results in progressive weakening of the muscles and required her to use a wheelchair beginning her freshman year of high school.
“I don’t let my disability define me in any way, but it has had an impact on my life,” Dickey said. “I would like to think it has made me more open-minded and accepting of others.”
She said that her being in a wheelchair has given her opportunities. Dickey is a member of the United States Power Soccer Association...