Prestigious sports award given to teen with incurable disease
January 26, 2014 by Lisa
The USTA Eastern’s Service to People with Disabilities Award, a tennis honor which is very prestigious, was recently given to Gillian Cohen of Merrick, a junior at Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.
Cohen was surprised that the USTA selected her to receive the award but at the same time she is glad that she can demonstrate that anything is possible. She added that she wants to show others that she is normal and can play a sport despite her disabilities.
Cohen received a liver transplant when she seven years old and has underdone many additional surgical procedures since. She has always been a lover of tennis and the she says that the sport has given her confidence over the years and had a positive impact on her life.
Last year, she tried out for and joined the junior varsity team at her high school, which she said was a lot of fun. This enabled her to find herself and to make new friends. She added that whether she was on junior varsity or varsity was not important as long as she was to play tennis.
There will be a ceremony to honor her accomplishments on January 25th at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in White Plains, New York. It’s likely a variety of printing services is being used by the USTA to make those in the community aware of her dedication and perseverance despite being born with an incurable liver disease.