When Injuries Lead to Bigger Dreams

Normally, when athletes are injured, fans continue believing in the possibility of a comeback. Athletes themselves will usually push through physical therapy, whether it takes just a few weeks, a couple of months, or even a year to make a full recovery. But for Jessica Craver, a high school soccer star, her shattered leg was the beginning of a new dream.

The daughter of an Army surgeon, Craver struggled initially to redefine herself. But after about four years, she began looking at life through a different lens. “Everybody knew me as an athlete,” she said. “A few years ago I would have said that the accident was the biggest curse. But without it I’d be a completely different person.”

How has she changed?

Craver has been accepted to the University of Colorado, where she intends to study international affairs and biology, using that knowledge to eventually become a member of Doctors Without Borders. She believes in helping to solve issues of Third-World medicine, moving throughout South America and other areas of the world that need a stronger quality of health care. When Craver begins her service around the globe, that once-devastating injury will mean very little. What will remain is a legacy of heart that went well beyond the soccer field.

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