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Paralympic gold medal swimmer to speak at Oak Grove Women's conference

Jessica Long, a gold-medal winning paralympic swimmer for Team USA, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Women’s Conference at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air.

The conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the church, located at 2106 Churchville Road.

Long participated in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games — an international, multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities. She is the second-most decorated paralympian in U.S. history and will be participating in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games.

Born in Russia, Long was adopted into a Baltimore-family. Since Jessica was born with fibular hemimelia, her lower legs were amputated at 18 months old. On her Facebook page, Long writes about her surgery so many years ago: “...I didn’t let it stop me from standing in my new prosthetic legs less than 24 hours after my surgery. We may not know why difficult things happen to us, but be inspired that somehow and in someway [sic] you’re being challenged to be the best you can be. You never know whose life you’re touching through YOUR story.”

Since her first surgery, she has had other surgeries and has overcome many obstacles. Through it all, Long has been resilient and says that life isn’t always easy but says how a person responds to their challenges is important.

At the Women’s Conference, Long will speak about her can-do spirit and how God’s blessings have graced her life. She will bring an inspirational message entitled, “You Are Bigger Than Your Struggle.”

Additionally, Long will be sharing her autobiographical book, “Unsinkable,” written with her sister, Hannah Long.

Cost of the conference is $30, which includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Oak Grove is also hosting the Priscilla Shirer simulcast on April 27 and tickets for both events can be purchased for $40.

All tickets can be purchased at or by mailing in a check and registration form to Oak Grove, 2106 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015.

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