Sarah White

The Sky's The Limit

My name is Sarah White and I’m 17 years old. I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, at only 7 months. My spinal cord was affected; therefor I do not have the use of my legs. Never the less, I have always been very active and have made the best of my abilities.

At a very young age I was encouraged to get into sports. Since then I have been involved in horseback riding, swimming, skiing, sledge hockey, wheelchair basketball, and track and field. You might think I am a sports addict, and you would be right.

If I have learnt anything over the past couple of years, it's that being active has an impact on the lifestyle you lead. Every day, I see kids who sit around watching TV and playing video games until they can't blink anymore. That's why I feel it is important for kids and adults with a disability to not only set an example, but to inspire others to be active. Leading a healthy lifestyle changes your perception of life. It changes your attitude, teaches you discipline and perseverance, and helps you set and attain life goals. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough awareness out there to get everybody involved.

I was inspired to start wheelchair racing when I saw Chantal Petitclerc and Diane Roy, two of Canada's best ever, race for the first time. Without them, I never would have discovered the sport. All of a sudden, it hit me. I wanted to be a wheelchair racer, just like them! Only a year later, I found myself representing Quebec at the 2009 Canada Summer Games in Prince Edward Island, where I won silver and bronze medals. At that moment, being up on the podium, I decided that the Paralympic dream was no longer a fantasy, but a life goal.

Another sport that I absolutely adore is Sledge hockey, as well as basketball. Team sports have taught me how to be a team player, on top of how to support those who have always been there for me and always will be. Throughout my journey, which has only just begun, I discovered a whole new world out there that was welcoming me with open arms.

Sports are a huge part of my life. They even help me focus on my schoolwork. If you try one for the first time and you don't enjoy it, then maybe it's not your sport. Finding the right sport is all part of the experience. I can't imagine what life would be like without exercise. That's why I encourage people with a disability to try it and then go beyond their limits. Having a disability shouldn't prevent you from doing what you love and from living life to the fullest. Every day, every minute, every second is an opportunity for learning and greatness. So go all out, try new things and never fear the impossible. After all, the sky's the limit!