By: Christine Souders
They have lost their ability to walk, yet their fight to stay active lives strong.
Some inspirational athletes are learning life is what you make of it.
Nearly 20 paraplegic athletes competed in the First Annual Wheelchair Tennis Tournament on Saturday, held at the Fitness Life Center in Bettendorf.
"I didn't know if I would make the cut to be on his team," said Lindsey Juarez, who played doubles with her dad, Bob Juarez in the tournament.
5 years ago, Bob Juarez is a retired Davenport firefighter who fell off a ladder on duty, paralyzing his body from the chest, down.
"Prior to my injury, I was very active, and running, physical activities, basketball, and softball," said Bob Juarez.
He, along with other paraplegic's competed against each other on the tennis courts in their wheelchairs.
"It's a way to get out and feel normal," said Mike McCarty who is also wheelchair bound.
Doctors removed a 16 inch tumor around his spine 11 years ago.
But even though he can't walk, McCarty said his disability won't get in the way of living a happy, active life.
"You can either sit at home, and pout or you can get out, and do the things you love to do."
And both athletes said seeing others in the same situation, participating in adaptive sports, is a testament to the human spirit.
"I just opened my eyes...if something bad happens you just have to stay positive, and go with what you can do."
QCA Adaptive Sports Association puts on the tournament.