Show: Dr. House: Living with and Beyond Disability
Overcoming Life's Challenges
Record breaking athlete and motivational speaker, Jean Driscoll joins the show to share her story and determination to overcome her disability which she has lived beyond since birth! She has excelled to win the Boston Marathon 8 times and holds a world record in the 1996 Paralymic games!
Jean Driscoll was born in Milwaukee, WI with spina bifida (an open spine). It affected her ability to walk and included other neurological complications as well. Although there were challenges during childhood, her determination to get the most out of life was always there. She began using a wheelchair at the age of 15 and after learning about wheelchair sports from a high school friend, she started pursuing athletic opportunities with fervor. The Milwaukee Public Schools Division of Recreation provided her first wheelchair sports experiences. After being recruited to the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, world-renowned coaches developed her into one of the world’s most successful competitors. During her career, Jean was the first eight time winner of the Boston Marathon. She set 5 new course records as well as 5 world best times and has held Boston’s fastest time in the women’s wheelchair division since 1990. In addition to her success in Boston, Jean also won two Olympic medals, 12 Paralympic medals, and still holds the world record in the 10,000 meter (6.2 mile) track event that was set during the 1996 Paralympic Games. Her successes have been celebrated by many with multiple honors and recognitions, including the Wheelchair Sports, USA Hall of Fame. Jean retired from her successful racing career following the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. For over 20 years, she has offered encouragement and motivation as a speaker to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Through a partnership that began in 2001 with Joni and Friends, Inc., Jean began working with people who have disabilities in Ghana, West Africa. Her alma mater, the University of Illinois, has caught the vision and is now supporting this work as well. In addition to motivational speaking, Jean works as the Associate Director of Development in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois.
Determined to Win
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