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Overcoming Tragedy: Lisa Speckman's journey with the National Ability Center

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - "If I can do this, I can do anything." That is the motto for the National Ability Center, a non-profit organization that's Good 4 Utah. The N.A.C. helps people all over the state overcome disabilities by helping them discover their abilities.
"If I can do this, I can do anything." That is the motto for the National Ability Center, a non-profit organization that's Good 4 Utah. The N.A.C. helps people all over the state overcome disabilities by helping them discover their abilities. From skiing to horseback riding, their activities help people build confidence.

Lisa Speckman and her horse, Missy are training in the sport of Dressage.

As Lisa works on her turns and stops, she's always under the watchful eye of her number one fan.

“What do you think? You're the only person I’m trying to impress,” she asked her husband Steve.

Just days after the couple had their second child; they were struck by an unpredictable tragedy.

"8 years ago, I caught bacteria that rendered me different than I was before," Lisa said.

Lisa's life changed in an instant. She lost both of her legs and one arm to the bacteria that spread through her body. Lisa took time to grieve and raise her children, and then she decided to take her life back.

"It was quite a shock to have your former life taken away from you, and we're taking it back with the help of the N.A.C.," she said.

Now, Lisa skis and rides horses.

“it's my time to de-stress and take care of myself," she said.

Lisa’s time in the ring with Missy has built her confidence in indescribable ways. But Lisa’s is just one of many ability levels these horses work with every single day.

"They (the horses) are all amazing every day just being so adaptable from one day to the next," said Equestrian Programs Manager, Marci Bender.

She says horses like Missy can work with several different riders each day.

"It’s actually a very involved job, so they have to be on all the time and they have to be surrounded by many more people than your average horse," Bender said.

Each rider, who could be going through physical, psychological or cognitive training, is accompanied by a trainer, volunteers and family members. For a sensitive animal like a horse, that can be a lot. That’s why Bender says the horses at the N.A.C. so remarkable, and why raising money to keep the program going is her top priority.

On June 1st, the National Ability Center is holding their Annual Barn Party to raise money for the equestrian program. For more information on the event, or to donate, click here 

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