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Maci Mauch: Feeling accepted and having fun

Born with spina bifida, living with paraplegia, six-year-old Maci Mauch loved cheering on her soccer-playing big sisters, Morgan and Ashley. "But her dad and I wanted Maci to have her own sport to play," says her mom, Maggie Mauch.

At Courage Center, Maci discovered wheelchair softball. Last summer, at age five, she became the youngest member of the Junior Rolling Twins Softball Team.

"Joining this team has been super for Maci," says her mom. "She's interacting with other kids with disabilities and having so much fun! These kids show each other that they can totally forget about their disabilities and let the fun happen. Imagine the confidence boost that gives them. And we parents get to watch them just being kids."

Before connecting with Courage Center, Maggie feared that her daughter's life would be filled with exclusions and sitting on the sidelines. "Instead, Maci now feels inclusion and acceptance. Courage Center is all about opportunities. Maci was welcomed with open arms into a community of ability, not disability. We've even met Paralympics athletes involved with Courage Center sports programs. How inspiring is that - for any child?"

What does the future hold for Maci? "With one softball season under our belts, we're looking forward to season two," said Maggie. "Our goals are to stay healthy, grow, and learn more independence each day. Programs like this fit our game plan perfectly."