Softball helps disabled Rankin County girl thrive - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Softball helps disabled Rankin County girl thrive

Graceyn Thrailkill Graceyn Thrailkill
BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A drunk driver took a little Rankin County girl's ability to walk, but not her joy or ability to thrive and play softball.

The sport is helping Graceyn Thrailkill enjoy her life and teaching lesson to a team about the precious gift of life.

"It's really fun to do, and it's a fun sport," said the smiling nine year old.

Graceyn Thrailkill has been reveling in the sport of softball for the past year. The Brandon High School softball team has reached out to show her how fun the game can be.

Six years ago her life changed when a drunk driver crashed into her family's van, leaving her without the use of her legs.

But this game and these girls give her something to look forward to.

"I like catching. I do sports like that, and it's also really fun," added Graceyn.

Brandon High's softball team adopted Graceyn and Friday hosted a wheelchair softball game.

Coach Heidi Hill sees how the game affects Graceyn and her players.

"My girls can play wheeler chair softball today, but when it's over they can get out of the chairs. So I'm hoping it will teach them to take what they have and not take it for granted," said Brandon High Softball Coach Heidi Hill.

Antonio Wright, founder of MACE or metro area community empowerment, helped the team get prepared for the wheelchair game. The organization assists people with spinal cord injuries participate in wheelchair sports.

"Not only are they learning about themselves, but they're learning about a world they never thought about. They can't jump. They can't run. They've got to use their hands for everything," said Wright.

Graceyn's mother said it's been a rough road, but despite 12 surgeries since the accident her little girl remains optimistic.

"It makes me happy," said Graceyn.

"I always tell Graceyn, the lady who hit us, she made a bad choice, but these girls are out here making good choices and the right choices and helping people and that always helps get rid of some of the bad, put some good back in the world," said mother Holly Thrailkill.

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