The Miracle League: Giving those with disabilities more options

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – There are 80,000 people in southeastern North Carolina who are classified as disabled.  That's one in five residents.

Access of Wilmington is raising money to help our community help those in need.  The organization hopes to raise enough money to create the area's first Miracle League Field.

The ADA level athletic surface levels the field for people with disabilities, giving those with disabilities more choices for extracurricular activities.  The field will be completely flat with no obstacles for those in wheelchairs and walkers.

"It's unbelievable - both the experience for the kids and volunteers," said Dan Johnson with Access of Wilmington.

Topsail High School tenth grader Maggie Swann and her twin sister Bonnie both have cerebral palsy. Last year Maggie ran track for the first time.  Both Maggie and her mom experienced the gratitude only athletics can provide.

"She and I were thinking of all the milestones," explained Maggie's mom, Angie Blanton.  "From the time she was born, and the time that we were told that they would never walk, talk or know who they are, and my daughter is running the 100 meter track.  When she got to the end of the line I just grabbed her and hugged her.  And that's the picture that they got.  It was wonderful."

This is the experience Johnson hopes the Miracle League Field will bring.  He also hopes it will teach acceptance and educate others about the small things we take for granted.

The Miracle Field will promote physical activity, camaraderie and a sense of teamwork.

More than $1 million has been raised for the effort.  New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington have provided land for the field and a handicapped accessible playground.

Organizers are looking for any donations, including landscaping and construction supplies.  Visit the Miracle League website to learn more about the organization or to make a donation.

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