Physical Challenge: Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, Bilateral Above Knee Amputee
Sports: Sled Hockey, Hand-cycling, Swimming, Nordic Skiing
Lera Doederlein was born in Russia with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a severe condition that affects joints in her legs. She was adopted and brought to the US at nearly two years old, where she wore KAFO’s and used forearm crutches as her main form of mobility. When she grew into her teenage years, she had been told life would get harder in the future, with mobility getting more restrictive for her. On that note, she decided to double-amputate both her legs above the knee.
Soon after this, she was introduced to adaptive sports and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. In a short period of time, Lera found many new sports to try through CAF. Lera was selected to play for the 2019-2020 women’s US national sled hockey team after only two years of playing the sport. She has also started hand-cycling on CAF’s all women’s hand-cycling team. Since her amputation, she has tried many sports including sled hockey, cycling, Nordic skiing, surfing, and aspires to try more!
Lera plays sled hockey for the San Diego Ducks and last fall was awarded “the 21st Duck”, a prestigious honor from the NHL Anaheim Ducks team. CAF has supported Lera throughout her sports journey and has been the catalyst for the unique mentorship and friendship between Lera and Oksana Masters. Lera dreams of following Oksana’s path and pursuing her own Paralympic dreams.
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