Chance Veasey Inspires
Imagine being a 19-year-old baseball prodigy in 2009, living the dream. Playing a division one sport at the University of Georgia with your best friends. Then suddenly, it’s all taken away after a scooter accident on campus leaves you paralyzed from the waist down. This is what happened to Chance Veazey. On July 28, Chance will be honored on the field at SunTrust Park by naming a support dog after him by Andee’s Army, dedicated to funding rehab and special care of children and youth with brain, spinal cord or other neurological injuries, and Canine Companions for Independence.
BHL: Tell us about your first days on campus and meeting the guys on the UGA baseball team.
CV: At freshman orientation, I remember meeting Kyle Farmer. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise because of all the girls around him. Kyle and Alex Wood and I did everything together. Working out, going to some of the same classes and practicing. We all lived in a house together our sophomore year.
BHL: What happened on October 28th, 2009?
CV: About 90 percent of the athletes at UGA ride scooters to get to classes or tutoring or practice. I was on a scooter leaving the East Campus Village when a car pulled out in front of me. I broke my back, severed my spinal cord. I didn’t know the gravity of the situation but my dad did. And the coach and guys on the team kind of knew too. It took a while to sink in.
BHL: You spent time at Shepherd Center for rehab.
CV: That was a tough time. I quickly developed a love-hate relationship with them. Shepherd was all about love and I was full of hate. I thought, why me? I did everything right. I got a scholarship, studied hard, didn’t drink. But I owe them everything. I also realized that there are others worse off than me. Kids who are completely paralyzed.
BHL: Kyle Farmer and Alex Wood now play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have tattoos on their arms that read ‘Second Chance to remind them of you.’
CV: Six guys from the old UGA team got them and so did three other guys from my hometown. Amazing.
BHL: Canine Companions for Independence named a support dog after you!
CV: CCI provides trained assistance dogs at no charge to those in need. I’m so honored.
I quickly developed a love-hate relationship with them. Shepherd was all about love and I was full of hate. I thought, why me?