Hannah Can

A 10-year-old Tahlequah athlete is golden on and off the track.

Ten-year-old Hannah Hewett, who hails from Tahlequah, is a national championship sprinter. Photo by Brandon Scott.

Ten-year-old Hannah Hewett, who hails from Tahlequah, is a national championship sprinter. Photo by Brandon Scott.

Hannah Hewett describes herself as “a bit of a diva,” but perhaps she has a reason: She is an award-winning athlete at the age of 10.

Hewett, who lives in Tahlequah, set the record for all four running events in the Junior National Disability Championship in Rochester, Minn., in 2013; and this year in Edmond, she took home the gold medal in all four sprint events (60, 100, 200 and 400 meters) and archery at the Endeavor Games. One of Hewett’s goals is to participate in the Paralympics one day.

“I have probably always been competitive because I have always had to fight to keep up with everybody else,” Hewett says.

Born with bilateral tibial hemimelia, meaning she was born without the tibia bones between her knees and ankles, Hewett has been a double above-the-knee amputee since she was nine months old. It may explain her competitive spirit.

“I have probably always been competitive because I have always had to fight to keep up with everybody else,” Hewett says.

In addition to being born without tibias, Hewett’s arms are fused at the elbow, which limits movement in her fingers. She has had three hand surgeries, and her family is looking into reconstructive surgery for her elbows.

Hewett has many other talents and skills beyond track. She’s also good at limbo and playing hide-and-seek. She also loves to swim and play basketball and soccer.

Kim Hewett, her mother, says that her daughter’s condition “has made us more in tune with others with disabilities. It has also challenged us to overcome our own shortcomings. There are no excuses.”

Her father, John Hewett, was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

“Hannah has been an inspiration to him in overcoming his challenges,” says Kim Hewett.

“I once shared with her that I looked forward to the day when we would both be whole,” John Hewett says. “I would no longer have Parkinson’s, and she would have both legs. She pondered that for a moment and replied, ‘Daddy, I think I am pretty whole as I am.’”

Keep up with Hannah Hewitt and find out where she’s competing next on her Facebook page, “Hannah Can.”

Comments