Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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August 27, 2013

Young gymnast longs to be U.S. citizen

(Continued)

“My parents were our emotional support,” she said. “We could lean on them — now we lean on the church.

“I went to the church ask asked them if they could help me raise my daughter and they said yes. I want her life to be well rounded.”

When Madina came to the United States at 10 and a half months, she only weighed 10.5 pounds.

“She was wearing 0-3 month clothes,” she said. “She didn’t walk until she was almost 3 years old. Her muscles were flaccid and she needed more muscle control.”

A few years ago, one of Madina’s doctors said gymnastics would help her muscle development and make her stronger. She started taking gymnastics while the family lived in Southern Indiana. Then Deanna got her enrolled at Hoosier Gymnastics in Plainfield under the coaching staff of Kevin, Terra, and Victoria O’Brien.

“She’s pretty amazing,” Deanna said. “I am so very proud of her.”

Madina has become a very good gymnast and has dreams of representing the United States in the Olympics. She is currently competing at level nine and is on the gym’s competition team with other girls in junior high and high school.

“Her goal is the make the Olympic team,” Deanna said. “I don’t know if she can make it or not but her coaches said she has the inner drive. Anything is possible.”

All the surgeries and medical expenses are weighing on Deanna and Madina. Deanna normally has four or five jobs to keep up with medical expenses and household bills.

As a nurse practioner, she works for the Indianapolis Colts and at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Two years ago, when the stage collapsed at the state fair, Deanna was injured while pulling people from the wreckage.

“I hurt my knee so I have problems with it,” she said. “But I know God will take care of us.”

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