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College athlete Olivia Maccoux still competing after 120 brain operations – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 18th, 2016 by Ian

College athlete Olivia Maccoux still competing after 120 brain operations
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Olivia Maccoux may not be a famous professional athlete, but she definitely possesses more courage and dedication than most of today’s sports stars. The 20-year-old Maccoux still manages to compete in a variety of athletic ventures even though she’s been through an incredible 120 brain operations. The you lady who attends Augsburg College in Minneapolis suffers from an affliction known as hydrocephalus, which sees the brain filled with excess fluid. To make things even more difficult, Maccoux also has epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Maccoux says that sports as helped her get to overcome the pain and life’s tough times over the years. She recently stated to People magazine, “I don’t know if it’s sports that distract me or if it’s just because I love playing them, but for whatever reason, when I’m on the field, in the pool or on the rink, I let my pain wash over me.” As well as playing soccer at university, she has also participated in hockey, softball, long-distance running and swimming while growing up and claims that sports give her self confidence. Her mother Cathy added that Olivia is happiest when she’s playing sports and doesn’t want to be considered as a sick girl, but rather as an athlete.

Maccoux said sports simply helps take her mind off of the pain and she started participating in them when she was quite young. By the time she was in Grade 5 Olivia was a member of her school’s swimming team in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and when she started high school she joined the institution’s adapted athletics program. She explained that adapted sports are for youngsters who have disabilities and/or impairments and the program levels out the playing field. However, she stresses that it doesn’t make the games less competitive.

Olivia said people who watch the adapted sports contests would never know the athletes are disabled or sick in any way as they’re all so passionate and focused. Cathy Maccoux said in the past she was worried that her daughter might get injured while playing sports, especially soccer, but she’s doesn’t really think about it now. Cathy said Olivia would go straight to her soccer game from the hospital and nearly fainted when the youngster first headed a ball. However, she realizes her daughter can lead a normal life even after 10 dozen brain surgeries.

Dr. Joseph Petronio, who is involved with pediatric neurosurgery in Minnesota and is Olivia’s doctor, said he’s amazed at the things Olivia does and how she doesn’t allow her medical condition to rule her life. The doctor said the young athlete has been able to lead a normal lifestyle by overcoming her adversity. Now that she’s a sophomore in college, Olivia has been named to her school’s Dean’s List every single semester since she enrolled. Her goal is to earn a degree in communications and she hopes to land a job in the healthcare industry in a non-profit fundraising capacity.

Olivia said since she’s been in and out of hospital so often during her life she has experienced so much compassion and wants to return the kindness in any way she can. She finished by saying she’s simply Olivia and doesn’t see herself as a sick person even though she lives her life with hydrocephalus.

 
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