In the Quad Cities, Sean Mizlo means strength.
“He has such a positive outlook on life and just has never stopped since the accident,” says Jennifer Webster, a Special Education Teacher at United Township High School.
Sean was riding his motorcycle in 2005 when a car crash left him with only part of his left leg. But instead of sitting in one place, Sean has played hockey at the iWireless Center, hit home runs at Modern Woodmen Park, and even water-skied on the Rock River.
“He’s always looking for ways to be able to get add-ons to his wheelchair, get a special kind of bike so he’s able to participate in RAGBRAI,” says Jennifer. “Triathlons is his new challenge so I thought he would be a good candidate.”
Jennifer says her nomination is less about Sean her colleague or Sean the Special Olympics coach, but more about Sean the person. So we’re giving her $300 to “Pay it Forward.”
With cash in hand, we followed Jennifer through the halls of U-T and surprised Sean right outside of his classroom door.
Jennifer did the rest… “We would like to present you with $300 and we think that you are well-deserving and we want you to put this towards your bike for your triathlons or any other equipment that you need.”
Sean – shocked and smiling – says UT has been like a family to him since the accident and has always supported him.
“It’s awesome,” he says. “I mean, there’s just really no words to say. It means the world to me.”
Now $300 richer, Sean says he plans to “Pay it Forward” himself, by showing others than strength is not measured just by muscle… but by heart.
“It helps me tell other people in the community that if you do have a disability that there’s no end, you can continue to do the things you like to do and for me, it helps me overcome what happened to me.”
Sean is excited to start training for the Quad Cities Triathlon. He says swimming will probably be the most challenging event.
For more information on how you can “Pay it Forward” with the help of News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, click on the “Contests” tab at the top of WQAD.com.