I’m Austin Ford…A Survivor!

Well I was born with severe hemophilia, my parents never sheltered me from exploring sports. They allowed me to try sports such as soccer, basketball, running and baseball. I was never really good at any of them other than basketball. Basketball led me to be able to do many things in my life and taught me the meaning of determination and faith. It assured me that the Lord would always be watching over me.

Over the years, I’ve played in school leagues, Park districts, the YMCA and the travel leagues. Being a hemophiliac presented obstacles, such as being taken out of games due to injury or being set out because of coach is nervous to play me out of fear and lack of understanding of the diagnosis. I learned to overcome these obstacles. Winning was pinnacle to me. Pushing through my diagnosis and working around limitations taught me how to determination can push you forward and how adrenaline of being part of a team can take away the pain for a while.

My hemophilia has honestly been a blessing in disguise as it helped me grow to appreciate the obstacles, I’ve been able to overcome. I gave everything I had to give to play basketball when my diagnosis was meant to restrain me. I trusted in the lord. There’s a personal satisfaction that was achieved when I had a good game and overcame obstacles, especially when there were people that said I couldn’t do it because I had hemophilia. The most satisfying experience has been to show that hemophilia doesn’t define me, with hard work and determination I can overcome my diagnosis.

Being part of a team allowed me to identify my passion and lay the foundation for my future goals. Since middle school, I knew I wanted a career in sports. I identified the University of Oregon early on with their college of Business offering several career directions in the sports management arena. Therefore, I set my goal of getting good grades and acceptance into the university. I believe that again my future was in our Lord’s hand and he would ensure I would achieve my goals. When I received my acceptance letter to Oregon, I realize that when I set a goal, I can achieve it.

My goal now, is to help my parents with getting funds to offset the cost of college so my dream can be achieved. Having him affiliate is an ongoing lifelong battle that has a financial impact on my parents each year. By securing scholarships, I can lessen their burden to ensure that this diagnosis doesn’t present an obstacle of not allowing me to pursue my dreams because of finances. It’s my goal to show others suffering from bleeding disorders that you do not need to be defined by your diagnosis and you can achieve whatever dream you have.

~~Austin Ford

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