Treytun Garcia is no longer on the sidelines watching his favorite game.
As a 12-year-old, Treytun Garcia was a Kid Captain at the University of Iowa and for a home football game at Schafer Stadium. Both opportunities were to celebrate his inspirational story. In 2013, he had made the decision to have his left leg amputated below the knee to halt the spreading scleroderma, an autoimmune disease characterized by the hardening of the skin and connective tissues.
This year he decided to become a football manager for the eighth grade team. An away game to Washington changed his life. One of the players was playing with only the use of one arm. It inspired him. He talked to his mom about wanting to play. After conversations with the coach and permission from his doctor, it was determined that he could play.
For the past few weeks, he has suited up and played with his teammates. He is currently a defensive tackle, playing on the front line. “I’ve made a few tackles,” Garcia said. “It feels good.”
His leg is wrapped before each practice and game. During games, the referees examine it to ensure it meets regulations. The district’s football trainer did research online and now the padding can be easily removed after each use and reused. “It feels different to be on the field,” he said. “I feel a lot more involved.”
“As a district, we work hard at creating opportunities for all students,” said Superintendent Nicole Kooiker. “We know that creating opportunities for students to be involved in all facets of the educational process helps to ensure success. Our students need and deserve the very best we have to offer them.”
Garcia plays his last game of the season tonight in Mt. Pleasant. “I might play basketball once that comes around,” he said with a smile.