Heart warming true story of Rick Hawthorne as told to Morgan St. James.
Chicken Soup for the Soul:Celebrating People Who Make a Difference in the Lives of Others. 2008
Measuring Miracles by Leaps and Bounds
Rick Hawthorne as told to Morgan St. James
I am no stranger to being different and challenged. It took a while, but I finally got used to people asking, “So, how did you lose your arm?” Losing your arm to cancer when you’re only eleven is a hard way to learn what it means to be handicapped. Doctors discovered a tumor the size of an apple when I broke my left arm in three places. It cost me my arm and shoulder, and because I lost my shoulder, I can’t wear a prosthesis. Trying to join in sports was an exercise in frustration for me: I was always picked last, or not at all. So, my first challenge was adjusting to life as the “one-armed” kid. When I got over the shock, I determined to be the best I could be at everything I tried. This cancer wouldn’t stop me!
I discovered vaulting at Cal-Poly when I was working on a degree in Animal Science. Vaulting is gymnastics on a moving horse, sort of like Cossack horsemen or circus performers. It is definitely a two-armed sport. The more I watched the Cal-Poly team, the more I knew I wanted to vault. Quite an ambition for a young man with one arm....