Terry Hanyzewski joined the navy as a seventeen year old in the mid-nineties. He was stationed in Rhoda, Spain during the first gulf war when the unimaginable happened.
“I initially went blind, in one eye and had a tingling sensation in the feet at the same time. From then on it’s been tingling in my feet ever since and the eyesight is hindered,” Hanyzewski recalls.
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997. Since his diagnosis, many things in life have been an up-hill battle.
”Sometimes it’s a little difficult to realize that you can’t do things the way that you used to. I think that I would kill to be able to just put my clothes on the old fashioned way,” he tells NewsCenter 16.
It may not have been the "old fashioned way," but recently Hanyzewski got a chance to do something he never imagined he'd be able to do again. Go skiing.
”It was one of those things that you don’t figure how you are going to be able to do that stuff, but they had a way. I started with a mono ski, which is kind of one ski with a seat on it,” Hanyzewski tells us of the time he recently spend in Snowmass, Colorado.
The winter sports clinic is an annual event held by the National Disabled Veterans organization. Disabled vets not only get the chance to ski, but snowmobile, go fishing, and hopefully get a fresh perspective.
”It allows them an opportunity to get outdoors in the fresh air and enjoy sports again. It just brings back you know the life they had before and also to let them know that nothings impossible and that they still can do these things,” Jenny Ballou, a spokes person for Veteran’s Affairs, says of the need for such an event.
While Hanyzewsky's battle with multiple sclerosis may still be up-hill, he now even without the use of his legs, there’s a way to get to the top.
He offers some advice not only to disabled veterans, but to anyone and everyone.
“Don’t ever doubt yourself. There’s always a way to do stuff. You can’t let your disability hold you down.”