MeiLin McDonald, 17, suffered a severe concussion during a basketball game as a child.

The injury caused her eyes to become permanently dilated and left her unable to focus. McDonald’s physician suggested surgery to explore the possibility of inner-ear damage. Unfortunately, complications during surgery made her symptoms much worse and left her unable to walk.

When she came to CrossFit Wilsonville, McDonald was in a wheelchair. The coaches were in awe of McDonald’s story and were ready to begin helping her on the journey to recovery.

The first task was simply to walk 8 feet. Once McDonald mastered that, the goal was to do it faster.

Now, McDonald has new goals: “I would love to do a triathlon,” she says.

She has some advice for anyone dealing with a debilitating injury:

“There’s always hope. Keep fighting. It may suck, but as soon as you say you’re done, everything ends and you don’t get to see the impact you have on people.”

Video by Jesse Kahle, Sevan Matossian and Tyson Oldroyd.

7min 20sec

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