NEVER SAY , I CAN’T

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Jennifer Bricker wanted to be a gymnast; but there was one problem, she was born without legs. This tragic birth defect caused her biological parents to abandon her in Romania the day she was born. An American family, Gerald and Sharon Bricker, adopted Jennifer and raised her in a small town in Illinois.

jenniferbrickerEven though Jennifer had unique challenges growing up, her parents wouldn’t allow the word “can’t” to enter her vocabulary. The Brickers decided to raise her just like they raised their three healthy sons and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. It was because of their acceptance and love that she never saw her disability as a limitation. Instead, she pursued volleyball, softball, and even basketball. But from the very start, her heart was set on gymnastics.

She loved tumbling on the trampoline with her dad and watching famous gold medalist, Dominique Moceanu on television. The family put her in tumbling and she won state titles and competed in the Junior Olympics.

When her friends would point out how amazing it was that she was so good at tumbling even through she was handicapped, she would say, “I’m not handicapped.” Then they would reply, “Well, you use a wheelchair.” She claimed that the purpose of the wheelchair was just to keep her from getting dirty.

Jennifer always knew she was adopted but didn’t inquire about her adoption until she was 16 years old. That’s when she found out the biggest news of her life; her childhood idol, Dominique Moceanu, was her biological sister.

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