Beating the odds, New Hanover student runs varsity track despite cerebral palsy

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Submitted: Fri, 04/01/2011 - 3:57am
Updated: Fri, 04/01/2011 - 3:16pm

WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — Maggie Swann and her twin sister Bonnie both know how to beat the odds. They’ve been doing that for sixteen years. Bonnie is not able to run track, but Maggie can. In fact she’s a sprinter on the New Hanover track team. Sharron Swann is a proud grandmother of the twins. She says they were born nine weeks premature. “They were in the hospital for a month. When they got ready to go home the doctors said they’d never walk or talk or know anything. We proved them wrong. The other kids on the team have been so good. You noticed that when she ran they all lined up and cheered for her all the way down the track. The twins have always taken part in the Special Olympics. They also play special needs t-ball and soccer, but this is something better because she’s part of the high school track team.”

On Thursday Maggie Swann ran the 100 meter dash in 44 seconds. That’s a new personal best, “I like being out on the track team, running fast and hard”, Maggie told WWAY.

Nolan Toby is the New Hanover track coach. He’s delighted to have Maggie on the team this season. “She’s a very likable girl. The first thing she does at practice is give people hugs and she’s out there doing the drills at practice just like everyone else. The kids like her a lot. They cheer for her and wish her well.”


  • Sarah says:

    look at my cousin go !! i love you Maggie !! <3 && bonnie !!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …about two tough girls who will not let a little ol’ thing like cerebral palsy rain on their parade. They’re going to live life to the fullest and a LOT of us could learn from their attitude and drive. They haven’t fallen into the “woe is me blues” so many perfectly healthy people fall victim to.

    Way to go, girls!

  • Linda Butler says:

    I give praises to Martha Buskirk, EC Teacher at NHHS, for her tireless hours of work with her students. She pushes her students to achieve there maximum potential. The rewards of her job are seeing her students’ accomplishments! Martha you deserve mention. EC Teachers work with individuals with various needs, and it requires a real unique person to push them to their highest level of performance. Martha must feel real pride for this “Wildcat”! Go NHHS!

  • guesty says:

    Looks like both of you have figured it out and got it going on!

  • Guest228 says:

    Now this is what you call reporting..beautiful and touching!! GOD makes no mistakes and you can clearly see that in these girls!!

  • PatB says:

    I enjoyed watching Maggie run, it is so touching to see all the kids line up and cheer for her.

  • Charlotte says:

    I am so proud of you girls. I am honored to know you from Williston and to get the opportunity to watch you grow. Memaw, I know you are proud with some great pictures!!

  • Jennifer Ford says:

    Maggie and Bonnie are inspirational young women!! Their mother is a personal friend of mine so I know EXACTLY where they get their strength and perserverance from! GO GIRLS!!!!

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