Area athletes excel in Special Olympics

After diagnosing Terika Schleicher with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, doctors believed she would never be able to walk because the neurological condition would negatively affect both of Schleicher’s arms and legs. The doctors’ worries didn’t stop there. Because of a stroke before her birth, a portion of Schleicher’s brain wasn’t able to form correctly. Instead, an arachnoid cyst grew to take the place of the damaged tissue. Doctors weren’t sure if she would ever be able to talk or attend a regular school. But due to determination and perseverance, Schleicher, 13, has defied all odds. This past weekend she competed in her first Special Olympics Summer Games held at Penn State’s University Park campus, where she won gold medals in the 25-meter freestyle swim and the 25-meter backstroke. During the Opening Ceremony parade, Schleicher, and fellow Kane Area School District athletes Devin Guras and Bailey Arthurs, walked with athletes from 52 counties in Pennsylvania. See full article by purchasing the June 12 edition of The Kane Republican.