Teens with disabilities train for Spartan Race to raise funds for Shriners Hospital
DOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX – Jeffrey Beausoleil, 17, doesn’t let anything stop him.
He is training to run three tough races to raise funds for the Shriners Hospital – and, despite being born without his right arm and leg, Beausoleil makes crawling on mud, climbing down a rope or climbing up a wall look easy.
“Even if I don’t have my arms I’m gonna keep going. Nothing can stop me. If someone can do something, I can do it too,” said Beausoleil.
He has no qualms about heading into the most gruelling of races — the Spartan Race Trifecta.
It’s a five, 13 and 15-kilometre race, which includes jumping through fire, climbing fences and pushing giant tires.
Not an easy task when you’re competing with what some might call a disadvantage, but Beausoleil sees the race as a sort of metaphor for life.
“A lot of people have fears and fears are not real. Fears are based on what you believe in, so if you believe in yourself, you’re going to be able to do everything you want,” he said.
That’s exactly the kind of teaching he wants to pass on to his friends.
Beausoleil won’t be running the races alone.
After having completed a race last year, he’s become a mentor of sorts to 18-year-old Phillippe Arsenault, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
“When you start something, don’t give up, always see through to the end of it cause once you do, it’s gonna feel amazing,” Arsenault told Global News.
Aurelie Grandchamps, 14, had to undergo painful surgery two years ago to stretch one of her legs, that’s shorter than the other.
“We will be able, during the race and during training, to help each other and it will be a great adventure,” said Grandchamps.
The goal is to raise $10,000 for the Shriners Hospital, a Spartan Race charity partner, where all three athletes have been treated.
They want to help other kids heal and prove no obstacle is too great to overcome.
“We’re so proud of them, how can we not be so proud of these incredible teenagers,” said Caroline Phaneuf, a spokesperson for the Shriners Hospital.
“The money goes towards helping other kids walk and run and maybe even complete a Spartan Race like Philippe, Aurelie and Jeffrey.”
The public can support the athletes by donating to their team.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc