CROWLEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Life is full of choices. Three years ago, a North Texas mother made a life altering choice, that would be gut wrenching for most anyone. From that moment that changed her world, she is now staring at the chance, to become a world champion.
By any account, Jennifer Clark is just like many other women. She is a wife, a mom, and a full time employee. What makes her different than most though is not only can she stand on her own two feet. She can also stand, on just one.
“There was a good seven months I wasn’t walking, so it was pretty hard,” says Jennifer. “Taking care of the baby at the time, and a five year old.”
In 2009, pregnant with her third child, Jennifer had a grapefruit-sized benign tumor growing on the back of her left knee.
“I couldn’t run, couldn’t ride a bike, couldn’t do much of anything you know. I was always depressed.”
After the birth of her child, doctors tried drugs to remove the tumor. Nothing worked. Jennifer was down to two choices: months of chemo, which carried no guarantees of shrinking or removing the tumor, or amputating her leg.
“Just the thought of losing my leg initially, was, I couldn’t stand the thought of it. But then I had time to think, ponder, and it was the best thing to do.”
Her husband, Scott, got the phone call while he was at work.
“It was quite a piece to bite off, to have her humble herself down to the point of removing part of her body, just to save her health,” says Scott.
Now three years after her decision to amputate her left leg, Jennifer has embraced her new life with a passion. Her husband left his construction job and became a certified prosthetic assistant to give his wife the best care possible. Now, it’s all he can do to keep up with her.
Through programs offered at the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation, Jennifer discovered triathlon. The run, bike and swim event that challenges even the toughest able-bodied athletes. Jennifer feels no limits.
“Whenever I’m running, biking and swimming, I forget that I’m missing a leg,” says Jennifer. “I do get tired a little faster than an able bodied athlete, but it’s the moment I feel whole again.
Call it spirit or call it tenacity. Jennifer will now travel to New Zealand in October. She’s qualified to compete at the Para-Triathlon World Championships.
All because of a choice that she says she’d make all over again.
Also Check Out: