Disability won’t get Samantha down

Samantha Stander
The second year medical student, Samantha Stander, defeats the odds daily.
 
This 22-year old was born with severe congenital developmental dysplasia in both her hips and doctors told her mother that she will never be able to walk. 
 
Today this determined young woman not only walks, but has completed more than 20 running races including The Grind obstacle race. During the race  she not only ran 5km, but also had to scale walls, crawl through mud and swim through quarries (to name but a few obstacles) to cross the finish line.
 
Due to her disability, she has limited function of her legs making movement difficult and painful.
 
“The Grind was definitely the toughest race I have ever done. The obstacle course challenges every aspect of your body – your legs, arms and even your mind,” tells Stander.
 
In preparation for The Grind Stander was trained by Dominique D’Oliveira, who also part of Stander’s team in the race.
 
Due to her hip dysplasia, Stander was not allowed to do sports while her body was still growing and only became active last year. Currently she can only run short distances and switches between running and walking when doing races.
 
“I constantly convince myself that I have to finish the race, I have no excuse for not getting myself to the finish line, even if I have to drag myself to the end,” Stander confesses.
 
She is determined to continue running and doing obstacle course races and recently also started cycling and has already set her sights on the Cape Town Cycle Tour for 2017.
 
 
Wilma Stassen