By Josh Jacques
Here at Purpose 2 Play, we are blessed to be able to share exclusive stories about athletes, coaches, and fans from around the world. They are inspirational, heart-tugging, and heartwarming, and we will never be able to forget the people that we meet or the stories that they share with us.
Kanya Sesser, 22, is one of those people that will live on as part of the Purpose 2 Play family.
Sesser is a college student, a Paralympic athlete, a model, an aspiring fashion designer, and she hopes that one day she can share her diverse talents with others around the world. These accomplishments by themselves would be more than enough in a lifetime, and they would be a great story to share with the world. What makes Sesser’s life story even more impressive is that she was born without legs.
Sesser was abandoned on the doorstep of a temple in Bangkok, Thailand as a very young child. She was later adopted at 5 years old by a family in Oregon. This is the beginning Sesser’s story, but her adventure in life is far from complete. Remarkably, she is looking to move on and do more.
College Student & Athlete
“Right now I am training for track and rugby to go to Brazil in 2016,” Sesser said. “I am also going to school for business and marketing.”
Her typical week day includes getting up at 5:00 a.m. to get to practice at University of Arizona’s facilities by 6:00 a.m. for wheelchair track. She spends 2-3 hours training, and then goes through a 2-hour rugby practice. She finishes up with an afternoon of classes that end at 5:00 p.m. Weekends are spent traveling to various track and rugby events. Despite the grueling days, Sesser remains extremely upbeat and motivated to improve herself for the future.
The daily regimen of training for two Olympic sports as well as going to school full-time is a difficult task for anyone to manage without a vehicle. Doing it without legs and without a vehicle requires extra dedication and planning.
“Right now I am in a struggle,” Sesser said. “I live a mile from the University of Arizona…I wake up at 5 to ‘roll’ down to the University for track. I then take a bus to get to the other side of the city. I am literally traveling on flat wheels right now.”
Aspiring Fashion Designer
While juggling all of the training, Sesser is studying business and fashion design at the Art Institute of Tucson. She wants to use what she is learning in the classroom to start a business, selling apparel. Her idea is to take photos of herself and other athletes with disabilities, and put them on clothing accompanied by inspirational messages.
“I learned on my own how to get through obstacles ever since I was a kid,” Sesser said. “You have to look at what you can do with what you have, and live life to the fullest.”
That’s the message Sesser wants to share with the world through her brand of clothing: “No legs No limits.”
Sesser’s brand was inspired by late martial artist Bruce Lee. Her favorite quote from from him is:
“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” –Bruce Lee
Sesser has tried to live by this, and she is a very determined person. However, she has also taken the time to do some modeling and to enjoy being a fun-loving college student. The contrast between her being “on point” for the future and a normal college student is stark.
“I’m different and I like to joke around about my disability,” Sesser said.
On the competitive note, Sesser often isn’t satisfied with her results on the track, even when she does beat her competition because she knows her time can always be better. This type of determination will serve her well as she continues to find new ways to compete.
We look forward to watching all of the success that Sesser will undoubtedly have from all of her hard work.
Sesser has set up a GoFundMe page to help her get a car so that she can continue to live with no limits.