When you’re in pain 24-hours a day, this is freedom.
That’s what one Iowan had to say about today.
Covenant Medical Center and the Waterhawks Ski Team joined together to host a day of adaptive water skiing.
This all happened at Eagle Lake in Evansdale. People with spinal cord injuries and impairments, along with their friends and family, were out water skiing, bonding and taking in the sun.
This was Waterloo man Robert Fencl’s second time doing this.
"I had a lot of fun the first year, so I thought I’d come back," Fencl said.
He’s water skiing 13 years after he was hit by a car while riding his bike.
"She was going about 40 miles per hour. She didn’t see me until my head went through a windshield. She slammed on the breaks. I flew about 10 feet up in the air. Came down so hard, and I left a full body imprint on her hood."
For Fencl, today is "freedom."
He says, "This just helps me keep my mind off of things. I’m in great pain 24-hours a day. I usually go three or four days without any sleep, so stuff like this is important to keep busy. It keeps me happy."
For 16-year- old Suzanne Shoemaker, she says this was worth driving to Evansdale all the way from Dexter.
She says, "I was born with Cerebral Palsy, which affects mainly my legs, but I don’t have full hand-grip either… But just the free feeling of this, and how much fun it is, and the people you meet. Everything about this is just awesome."
Those who were water skiing today were able to use a special water ski designed for people with mobility limitations. This is an annual event, and it lasted from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This Sunday, the Steele Report will feature the Waterhawks Ski Team, as they celebrate 60 years in the Cedar Valley.
We’ll take you out to Eagle Lake for a show and talk about the history of the non-profit amateur sports organization.
You’ll hear from current and past members of the Waterhawks as they continue their crowd-pleasing shows. There’s a show this Friday night, July 13th at Eagle Lake at 6:30 p.m.