I didn't find the Titans, they found me. And I can honestly say that that chance meeting changed my life.
It was the winter of my 8th grade year, and the competitive wheelchair sports team on which I'd been playing for two years had just disbanded due to lack of age-eligible players. I was heartbroken. Being on that that team, I had made friends for life and gotten to do what I loved. Little did I know when I stepped into Tac Mac one afternoon that I was about to make a whole lot more.
On that fateful day, I met Rick Thompson, who explained that he and some of the other parents of kids who had aged out of the AAASP's competitive teams when they left high school had started Titans Wheelchair Sports as a way to keep the friendships and activity going. It sounded like just what I was looking for, so I went to the practice that weekend.
Nearly six years on, and I am still grateful every day that that meeting happened. Sure, the Titans are not competitive, but that's not important. The important thing is that we are there to support each other and socialize, to have fun. Had it not been for that group of parents' vision, none of this ever would have happened. The roster of Titans is currently around 60, with upwards of 20 at most practices.
But Titans activities go way beyond just sports. The coaches and our social event manager, Adam Laarhoven, set up everything from open mic nights and Braves games to Halloween parties. And of course, we can arrange to meet outside of these opportunities too.
But perhaps the most important thing the Titans do is fundraising. We have held toy drives for Toys for Tots and sponsored children in Africa in the past, but now we have to fundraise for ourselves.
The growth of the Titan program illuminated the need for a place that those Titans who required help but wanted to live and work independently a place to go. This was the genesis of the idea for Champion's Place.
This first 16 unit home will provide those people who live there one on one help, personalized assistive devices, and a like-minded, friendly, productive community to live in
Friday November 10th was the 2nd annual gala for Champion's Place, during which the remaining $550,000 needed to build the home was raised. Ground is being broken this spring, and I could not be happier about that. But this is just the beginning. The hope is that this home will be a blueprint for others across the country.
To learn more and donate, visit