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Blind Athlete Uses Sports to Cope with Anger

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RALEIGH — Kevin Parker and his fiance, Deanna, are relocating from Pittsburgh to Raleigh. The challenges of the move are minimal compared to the challenges Kevin has overcome.

In 1992, while stopped at an intersection in Pittsburgh, Kevin was shot seven times in a drive-by shooting.

"With a bullet to my head, I was totally blind right then." he explains. "I remember [the paramedics] taking me out of the car. I got out of the car, sat on the side, and the next thing I remember was the paramedics taking me away."

Parker was left blind after one of the seven bullets traveled through the back of his head.

"I was on the verge of suicidal, and very angry," he says.

Parker needed to turn the anger into hope, so he turned to his first love, sports, to bring him back.

"It brings a lot of happiness to me," he says, "I am happy to be an athlete, and I love the challenge and the preparation."

Parker now trains for the Pan Am Games in the Paralympics in 2000. He is in need of sponsorship to continue his battle. With his attitude, that funding should be easy to find.

"I tell a lot of people that the wordsI can'tornevershould not be used," he says. "Once you tell yourself you can't, you believe it. If you believe in reaching for the sky, then you believe you can fly."

The Pan Am Games takes place July 23-August 8 in Winnipeg.

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Tom Crichton, Reporter
Dallas Smith, Web Editor

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