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Brianne 'Breezy' Bochenek - Back in the Game
Leg pain was nothing new to 10-year-old Breezy, as a competitive soccer player. However, this time, the pain was different. After a few weeks of physical therapy and rest, Breezy was referred to an orthopedist and received news that would change her life and alter her dreams. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer on her left thigh, and would need to amputate her leg above the knee in order to save her life. Although some of the big medical terms eluded her, she understood the journey ahead and moved forward with nothing but a positive attitude, inspiring everyone around her.
Breezy was given hope for a good quality of life after amputation from her role model and Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) spokesperson, Sarah Reinertsen. "She was the first woman with a prosthetic to complete a full Ironman, maybe I'll be the youngest," said Breezy.
Breezy then learned about CAF and was given the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the start of CAF's Back to Back NorCal Century ride where her brother and dad cycled the 200 miles in her honor. Later on at the event, she was surprised with an Össur running leg from CAF, which has since given her the independence to be a 'normal' 5th grader going to camps, running and playing sports with her friends.
In 2012, the local soccer community came together as 'Team Breezy' to give her hope, love and support through this tough year of battling cancer. They organized the Team Breezy Collegiate Soccer Cup where the Stanford and Cal Berkeley women's soccer teams played a fundraising match to support Breezy and two other local kids facing a hard diagnosis. The event was such a success that it will kick off again on April 20, 2013 in San Ramon, CA; this year in support CAF and their role in her recovery.
At her young age, Breezy not only has a full active life ahead, but she was seen at CAF's San Diego Triathlon Challenge this past year mentoring and running with other girls who also have lost their leg to cancer. With the incredible support of her family, local community and CAF, Breezy is overcoming her diagnosis through the power of sport. She looks forward to competing in triathlons with her dad and brother, playing soccer again and trying new sports like Lacrosse. Wherever her path leads, Breezy is just excited to be back in the game.
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