By Richard Smith
West Valley Preps
The 11th annual Centennial boys volleyball invitational will have an extra degree of purprose this year.
All proceeds from the March 31 tournament will go toward supporting Amanda Duchnowski and her family.
Duchnowski, 14, is a freshman who played for the Coyotes last fall.
She woke up Dec. 3 with an odd feeling in her legs and a burning pain in her lower back. Within 30 minutes, both legs were paralyzed.
After 5 MRIs, blood work and two spinal punctures, Phoenix Children’s Hospital diagnosed this as Transvere Myelitis. This is an inflamation of the section of the spinal cord and in most cases partial recovery is possible.
“Amanda has been a true inspiration throughout this whole ordeal. From day one she has had a positive attitude and always has a smile on her face. As a player on the freshman team, she was an extremely hard worker and great teammate. These traits have carried over into the new adversity she has faced. When I speak to her parents about how she is doing, I always ask if she has had a break down … and she hasn’t … she is such an inspiration for all of us,” Centennial boys and girls volleyball coach Cari Bauer said
During five weeks in the hospital she had regular steroid treatments,five plasma pherisis treatments, three IVIG infusions and a Rotuxin IV treatment.
Amanda is now able to walk some with the assistance of the walker. Further improvements are possible bur muscle and nerve repair takes time.
Coach Bauer said there is slow but steady progress with the intense therapy Amanda is going through.
“It may not be as fast as the family hopes for but there is progress. She is now able to walk for short distances with a walker,” Coach Bauer said. “They still have their eyes on 100 percent recovery. With her attitude and drive, it’s going to happen!”
Play starts at 8:30 a.m. March 31 at Centennial, 14388 N. 79th Ave., Peoria. There will be a ceremony for the family prior to the finals at 3 p.m.
Proceeds will be derived from tournament T-shirt sales, concessions and baked goods and donations.
A gofundme account has been set up to assist with the family’s medical bills. Visit www.gofundme.com/dqpr4g-amandas-medical-fund for information and to donate.