Raquel Jimenez is an inspiration.
At three years old, she was diagnosed with spina bifida, and left parallelized from the waist down. At nine her family moved to College Station from Mexico City, for better treatment and a new life.
"it was hard because all of my family was there and I lived there all of my life so it was hard," Racquel said. "But I was excited about the opportunities."
When not in school, Raquel goes to the Shriner hospital in Houston for medical care. She's involved in the spina bifida association here, and three months ago, she hit the courts, playing basketball with folks with various disabilities.
"I was like o-k I'll give it a try," Racquel said. "At first it was hard, because they're in high school and had more experience, but I gave it a try and never gave up."
That's Racquel's motto. As a young girl in a wheel chair it's clearly her positivity is pulling her through.
Mike Randermann with the spina bifida association is proud of Racquel's attitude. As a mother of a son with the birth defect she knows first hand what these children go through.
"it's always hard to see someone that you love have to suffer and go through surgeries and so forth, " Randermann said. "My son has had about 50 surgeries, but it's also been a blessing because if I hadn't had him I wouldn't be involved in spina bifida. I wouldn't know people like Racquel and her family, and that's such a blessing. I wouldn't go back and change it."
There is no cure for spina bifida and hardly a prevention. Studies have shown taking folic acid before and during pregnancy could help prevent it, as well as living a healthy life. But as research continues, Raquel will continue to bring awareness to the disease that has made her stronger.
"You can't say you don't like stuff if you don't give it a try--you have to give it a try, " Racquel said. "Think of God, think of your parents, think of yourself, your future, never give up."
Words from a girl who will never give up.
For more information about the Spina Bifida association here in the Brazos Valley you can contact Mike Randermann at 979-778-2104