Senior does not let disability define him

Nolan Hoppe and Cooper Bradfish

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   Scleroderma. 

   Although this seems like a made up word this is anything but fiction for D.C. Everest Senior Alex Stumpner who has been wrestling with this disease since the age of four.

   “It’s a disease that affects the connective tissues in your body and it tightens,” he said. “In my case, it’s relatively extreme because it rooted itself so deep in my bone structure that it restricted not just my connective tissues, but also my bone growth and muscle development.”

   A disease that terrorizes from the inside-out, although it hasn’t affected Alex’s thought process. If anything, it has strengthened his work ethic, and how he wants to not only change his life, but others although his effect on the field may not be as prominent as others.

   “I got that mentality of I may not make a difference on the field, but can I make a difference off of it? You hear about guys like Josh McCown who has bounced around from team to team. You hear about what great clubhouse guys these individuals are,” Stumpner said. “Josh McCown is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the history of football. He’s only started so many games in his career, but he’s helped develop the likes of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Carson Palmer. He’s developed so many quarterbacks and he doesn’t see the field as much as the people he’s mentored, so my thought process is how can I better my teammates? So it was, okay let’s be a locker room guy.”

   A diagnosis that came at the age of four, Alex never had the chance to play sports all the way through school like many players have had the opportunity without injury or disease. Alex instead found superheroes as a stress reliever to get through surgeries, and pain. As he grew however, he realized,“superheroes are fiction. I can’t be a superhero, but football is real that I can do I wanna get better at football because I like football. I wanna be a leader.” 

   “He’s a great leader, he’s one of the most vocal leaders on the team. I think he’s very caring for the whole team from the sophomores to the seniors,” said Ethan Ostrowski, D.C. Everest’s starting quarterback. 

   Alex may not be Superman, but to the D.C. Everest football team and his friends he is anything but ordinary. 

   The old saying of life is ten percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you react may have an example in Alex Stumpner.

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