Friday, 27 January 2012 08:47

Swift Current's Jayci Wittmeier and Jackie Powell to carry Rick Hansen Medal

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Swift Current is one of the over 600 Canadian communities to host the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay as it travels 12,000 kilometres from coast to coast.  As a host community, organizers were very pleased to announce that two difference makers in Swift Current will be carrying the Rick Hansen medal on Feb. 13.

Medal Bearer – Jackie Powell
Jackie Powell will be medal bearer number 17 on Day 174 (February 13th) of the Relay.  Powell was selected for being a shining example of an ordinary person who has made a difference in the lives of many, dedicating herself to helping and coaching special needs athletes.  Powell has been involved with Special Olympics as a Swimming Coach since 1995, and was named “Canadian Coach of the Year” in 2007.  Powell volunteers countless hours of her time helping others in whatever capacity is needed.  She coaches at the pool, volunteers her “kitchen skills” at the Swift Current Bronco’s hockey games, and helps out at Special Olympic bingo fundraisers. 

Powell is presently employed as an Employment Specialist with Partners in Employment, a program under the direction of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council.  In this role, she assists people with employment barriers to find success.  Powell’s run will begin at Central School.

Medal Bearer – Jayci Wittmeier
On August 10, 2009, Jayci’s Wittmeier’s 16th birthday, she was a passenger in a car that rolled and left her with a C4-C5 spinal cord injury.  She was told she wouldn’t have feeling or movement below the chest and may possibly never breathe on her own.  Her trachea was removed 3 months post injury. Today she can move both shoulders, her left arm and bend her elbow.  She has feeling down her back and stomach and at times can feel light touch to her legs and feet.  Her core strength continues to improve and she is now able to sit on her own. 

Wittmeier has always been an active girl, enjoying all sports and excelling at everything she tried.  Her remarkable recovery, which is ongoing, is credited to intensive exercise-based therapy and her positive attitude.  Wittmeier has a spirit like no other.  She is determined and believes that one day she will walk again. 

Jayci Wittmeier has been an inspiration to many, showing them that no matter how hard life gets or how bad things may seem, there is always hope and with hard work, determination and a positive outlook, anything is possible if you just believe.  Wittmeirer will be the final medal bearer of the day, beginning at Chaplin St. and 18th Ave NE and carrying the medal into the End of Day Celebration at the Credit Union i-plex.

End of Day Celebration
The End of Day Celebration will take place at the Credit Union i-plex from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  on Monday, February 13, 2012.  The final medal bearer is expected to arrive at the i-plex at 5:00 p.m.  Celebration activities will also include:
Wheelchair hockey demonstration (4:40 p.m.)

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