Video: Disabled Fenwick Swimmer Hopes to Go to State With Team
Mary Kate Callahan, a Fenwick senior lost the use of her legs due to a rare neurological disease as an infant. She hopes to compete in the state swimming tournament and pave the way for other disabled athletes who are not allowed to compete in state meets
Mary Kate Callahan, of La Grange, is a swimmer and senior at Fenwick High School in Oak Park.
Like her teammates on the swim team, Callahan trains rigorously to improve her times and compete against fellow swimmers. Unlike her other teammates, Callahan is wheelchair bound—her legs were paralyzed due to a rare neurological disease as an infant.
Callahan was named a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit in May against the Illinois High School Association, the nonprofit that regulates high school competitions across the state. Unlike in many other states, Callahan is not allowed to participate in state meets because she is disabled.
Callahan hopes that this year, her senior year, she'll finally be allowed to compete with her teammates and open the door for other disabled students to compete at state tournaments. It's her last chance, but she's not done fighting.
Take a look at this video the Chicago Tribune posted on Callahan's fight to compete at this year's state tournament.