Hi, My name is Nathalie Menard, and I'm twenty four years old attending Cambrian college in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. I was born with Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy is a lack of oxygen at birth or in early childhood. In my case, I had my mother's umbilical cord wrapped around my neck during the delivering. There are many different forms of Cerebral Palsy. In my particular situation, my co-ordination and my speech was affected.
Yes, they can lead a semi-normal life if they choose to. I never let my disability get in the way. In fact, I moved out from my parents home to my own apartment which I've lived for the past two years with my dog Mickey. I need some help during the day so I have a program called "Independent living." Independent living is funded through the government that gives people with a physical disability money to be able to hire their own attendants. With the program, I manage to have semi-normal life. I'm also involved in a local sporting club called Sudbury Shooting Stars. I have been competing in both individual and pairs Boccia for seven years. In my seven years competing, I have been all over the world.
I have been to numerous regionals and provincials Boccia competitions. I also represented Ontario and Canada on many occasions. To name a few :
- Winnipeg Nationals in June 93 competed in both individual and pairs events, got a bronze metal in individual.
- Belgium Championships in November 93 competed in both individual and pairs events, got a gold metal in pairs.
-Vancouver Nationals in August 94 competed in both individual and pairs events, got a silver metal in individual and also in pairs.
- Sydney, Australia in September 95 competed in both individual and pairs events, got no metals.
- Atlanta Paralympics in August 96 competed in both individual and pairs events, got no metals but I played extremely well and I was happy with my performance.
- Sudbury Nationals in April 97 competed in both individual and pairs events, got a bronze in pairs.
- Windsor Nationals in March 98 also competed in both individual and pairs events, got bronze in pairs. I played very well in individual and was very happy with my performance.
My parents are always there to encourage and support me whenever I need them. They treated me like I was normal despite my disability. And that meant a lot to me. I'm very lucky to have great parents like them. I thank them for everything that they have done and continue to do for me. I truly love them with all my heart.
I would like to graduate from college with a degree in computers. My biggest goal is to qualify to go to the Paralympics in Sydney, Australia 2000 with my coach Andre Grenier and one of my team mates and boyfriend Lance Cryderman. Another future goal I have is to get married and have children someday.
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