Dublin Jerome senior is a top contender for Paralympic Team
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Dublin Jerome senior is a top contender for Paralympic Team

Dublin Jerome senior is a top contender for Paralympic Table Tennis Team

Dublin Jerome senior is a top contender for Paralympic Table Tennis Team

(By Andrey Hasson)
Dublin Jerome senior is a top contender for Paralympic Table Tennis Team
COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Andrew Schneider is a senior at Dublin Jerome High School, and he has earned a spot on Team USA’s Paralympic Table Tennis Team. He now begins his journey to make the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Andrew was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism at birth. Due to his disability, he was not able to participate in most traditional contact sports. However, seven years ago, his mom, Jayna, got him a ping pong table for Christmas, and he found a sport he could play that he loved.

“There’s just so much thinking that goes behind it–one of my coaches once told me that thinking in a table tennis match is like thinking in a chess match, so it’s a good challenge,” said Schneider.

Prenatally, doctors diagnosed Andrew with a lethal condition, and they gave him less than a five percent chance of living.

“The doctors were all kind of scratching their heads like we didn’t think this child would even take his first breath,” said Jayna.

But Andrew has defied all odds.

“The first year, I had to pinch myself every day and think I have this child, he’s here, he’s here,” Jayna said.

Since birth, Andrew has undergone more than 30 surgeries. One of the side effects to Andrew’s dwarfism is that he is deaf, but he has two cochlear implants that allow him to hear.

“That’s what sort of punctuated his childhood was surgeries and back braces and leg braces and wheelchairs, but it was better than the alternative,” said Jayna.

Now, at age 18, Andrew helps lead the Dublin Jerome Table Tennis Team, he has competed in tournaments at The Arnold Classic, and he never dreamed he would one day make the USA Paralympic Team.

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