But now at 14, Kanza is considered a heroic role model among children on the island, inspiring everyone around her and proving to us all that despite her health issues, anything is possible.
“When I was 14 years old I started swimming with my coach, Ms. Penny. Ms. Penny saw how good a swimmer I was. We worked very hard and I got ready to represent Caymans Special Olympics in Athens Greece in 2011. I won a silver and a bronze medal.
We worked very hard for 4 more years, and then I went to another world games in L.A. California. We won a silver in the relay, then I won a bronze with my unified partner in the 1 mile open water event. I also won the gold medal in my 800 freestyle, I was very happy!
I am now training to go to Abu Dhabi in 2018.
I love doing swim meets, sea swims and all the trips I’ve gone on to swim. I’ve been to Porto Rico 3 times, Miami, South Carolina and St Kitts. Ms. Penny believes in me and I know I can do whatever it takes to be ready for my next event.
Swimming keeps me healthy and I’ve made many friends.
I feel proud to be part of the Special Olympics and blessed to live in the Cayman Islands.”
Kanza has recently been the recipient of a Hero’s Day award for her contributions to sport in the Cayman Islands.
This is Kanza.