Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quad Squad Year in Review (2009)

With this year in review, I'll recap the highlights of the past year for Quad Squad Bowling and share some additional news that isn't in any of my other blog entries.

In January, my young friend Alex McDonald set and reset the dynamic wheelchair bowling record for a male with muscular dystrophy by impressively bowling a 180 and 192 in back-to-back games. Click HERE for details, but as you'll see later in this recap, Alex went on to eclipse his record -- several (impressive) times.

In February, 65-year-young Angie Keiser became really the first paraplegic to take the IKAN "dynamic bowling challenge" and post a solid record score of 138. That might not sound like it's too high, but I believe dynamic bowling in a manual wheelchair is more difficult than with a power wheelchair. And we have yet to see any other paraplegics (younger or older) take the challenge and post a better score than Angie. So Angie officially holds the record. Click HERE for Angie's IKAN User profile and the scoresheet of her record game.

In March, 59-year-young Lilian Strandlund became THE top overall female dynamic wheelchair bowler with a joyous 189. I say joyous because she was SO HAPPY to not only become the top female bowler with cerebral palsy, and the top female bowler who drives her chair via joystick, in addition to the aforementioned overall top bowler -- but she beat her significant other Ed, who is able-bodied and can bowl real well. Just mentioning her record setting performance and beating Ed makes Lilian's whole face light up with a smile that beams! Click HERE for Lilian's profile and record scoresheet.

In April & May, I wrote a REALLY comprehensive (a.k.a. LONG:) blog called "Keys and Tips for Dynamic Wheelchair Bowling." Actually, in May I updated it with some new info, but if you're interested and haven't read it, I went back and included the May info in the April blog, so that someone only has to read my April entry to get everything, which is HERE.

In June, Rhonda Reese came out of hibernation to set a new record for a female wheelchair bowler who drives via sip-and-puff with an exciting 170 -- beating her previous best by 9 pins! I say "hibernation" in jest because Rhonda hadn't been able to bowl with us for about 6 months. So after such a long time in between bowling, it was impressive to see her have her best bowling day to date. Click HERE for details.

Apparently nothing particularly blog-worthy occurred with our Quad Squad Bowling in July, so I took the opportunity to introduce a new website I created to more legitimize our record bowling scores. To checkout, click HERE.

Alex McDonald heated up in August and broke his male with MD record by bowling 195 -- and if that wasn't impressive enough, he averaged 182.33 on his record-breaking day. His best bowling day (to that point:) came at a great time, because Alex was preparing to join his High School Bowling Team -- competing with and against able-bodied bowlers -- a few weeks later. Click HERE for details.

With September came a new record for male bowlers who drive via sip-and-puff... I bowled a 221 which topped my previous high game of 206 by 15 pins. The thing that surprised and amazed me is that I actually had two open frames in the game, and still managed to score that high (I had 7 strikes; 4 consecutive and 3 consecutive -- that's how I was lucky enough to score so high). Click HERE for details.

In October, Alex became the fourth IKAN User to enter the 200 Club -- and he did it TWICE with a 201 and 213! I was both quite impressed and proud of Alex's bowling accomplishments, despite our friendly rivalry. Click HERE for details.

In November, a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic who is paralyzed from the neck down bowled his 10th game of 200 or better. I wrote that to try to drive home the point that ANY wheelchair user who can safely operate a wheelchair, can bowl in dynamic fashion (by dynamic I mean using an IKAN Bowler and the movement of one's wheelchair to emulate the able-bodied bowling process). I control my wheelchair with my mouth, and yet I've bowled ten 200+ games. I don't write that to brag, but to show others what is possible. Click HERE for the details.

This is my December blog entry and I have one quite significant piece of news to share -- and sad news at that.

Shockingly, in late November at just 17 years of age, our friend and fellow Quad Squad member Alex McDonald passed away from complications of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He went from seemingly healthy to no longer with us in about a week's time.

I share that here for two reasons: (1) so readers of this blog will know why additional bowling accomplishments from Alex aren't mentioned, and (2) as a reminder to LIVE life and try to enjoy each day, whatever it may bring. Not only that, but to make sure your loved ones know you love them.

With that, I wish everyone who reads this a healthy and happy 2010.

May God bless you and your loved ones.

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 221 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
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