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Hannibal Camp | Donahue Fields

Aspiring Marine Who Lost Both Legs Teaches Boxing To Others With Disabilities

Patrick 15 Oct 2019

One man has been making headlines across social media for his sterling work in teaching those with disabilities how to box. By sharing his story, the hope is that others will be inspired to get active and experience the fantastic journey of self-discovery that he has!

Donahue Fields was an aspiring marine before he tragically lost his legs.

Facebook | Donahue Fields

Back in 2003, when Fields, a native New Yorker, was 19 and thinking of joining the Marines, a random bullet caught him and tore through his spine. Fields eventually had to have his legs amputated.

During his stay in a nursing home to recover from the operation, Fields was beaten and robbed.

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The incident left Fields feeling helpless, however, he didn't stay this way for long.

Facebook | Donahue Fields

Fields explained that the attack had left him feeling quite vulnerable, and went on to say in an interview with the New York Times:

"I was in a dark place. I was done with life. I attempted suicide. I was afraid of people taking advantage of me in a chair."

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Fields sought to change the way that people in society view disabled people.

Facebook | Hannibal Camp

The way that Fields decided to do this, was through adaptive boxing. In the sport, Fields could change the way that people perceived him and show that he did not need the help of others. He went on to say:

"Societal expectations of disabled people are that we need able-bodied people's help to do things. That's simply not true."

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A trainer first approached Fields about adaptive boxing, and now Fields is sharing its empowering message.

Hannibal Camp | Donahue Fields

"I was approached by a trainer at the gym during a program that I attended here in New York. I just started going, got better, kept training harder and I started to feel good," Fields told People.

The structure of his exercise and visible physical achievements that Fields was accomplishing gave him a sense of confidence that he previously didn't have.

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Fields wants to share the positive impact that the sport has had on his and other's lives.

Facebook | Hannibal Camp

Since starting adaptive boxing, Fields has rented out a gym where other people with disabilities can come and train in adaptive boxing.

Hannibal Camp spreads a message of positivity for all disabled people, with the message being that you can live a limitless life!

On their website, Fields writes: "I'm surfing, water skiing, playing wheelchair football and basketball. I felt amazing. Life became vast and limitless and so I'm now sharing this discovery of self with others."

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Hannibal Camp now has multiple members.

Facebook | Hannibal Camp

A wide variety of people have joined in Hannibal Camp's programs, some suffering from cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and other disabilities. However, through adaptive boxing, they are working towards a goal of self-discovery.

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Fields hopes for a bright future for adaptive boxing.

Facebook | Hannibal Camp

Fields is hoping that the 2020 Summer Paralympics will include adaptive boxing as a sport.

With the attention that this club and its amazing members have been getting across social media, it would not be surprising to see adaptive boxing included in the not too distant future!

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People who have experienced Hannibal Camp's work have nothing but positive words to say.

Facebook | Hannibal Camp

Their website includes testimonials from passionate members who wrote such wonderful things as:

"As a 43-year-old wheelchair user with Spina Bifida, I never thought that boxing would be a part of my life, except for as a spectator. Adaptive Boxing has shown me quite different. Going to the gym, hitting the heavy bag, sparring with my peers has opened a whole new world for me. [...] My goal is to see Boxing as a Paralympic Sport and I will do everything that I can to help make that happen." — Edward A. Fletcher

"[A]s a woman, it has given me the power to know discipline. Before I started boxing, I knew I could do certain things but I never put my mind to doing physical movement as I do when I box. My upper body strength is strong, but now it's even stronger." — Valerie Joseph

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Hopefully, Field's story will inspire others to take up the gloves.

usadaptiveboxing.com

Hannibal Camp has done a lot of work to help spread a powerful message of positivity across social media with the aim of inspiring disabled people to engage in sport for not only physical health benefits but mental too.

Best of luck to Fields who is also planning on scaling Mt Kilimanjaro in early 2020, a truly amazing goal!

h/t: Yahoo & New York Times

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