Tatyana McFadden

Paralympic athlete Tatyana McFadden presents Kennedy Krieger trainers with Order of Ikkos Medal

Paralympic athlete Tatyana McFadden presents Kennedy Krieger trainers with Order of Ikkos Medal

The orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia, didn’t have wheelchairs, so until she was 6, Tatyana McFadden simply crawled on the floor, her legs folded back underneath her body.

Born with spina bifida, she had lacked proper medical treatment, but her eyes were bright, she was spunky and smart, said Howard County resident Deborah McFadden, who was commissioner of disabilities for the U.S. Health Department and touring the facility when she first met her daughter. Deborah McFadden had no intention of adopting a child that day, but was captivated by the spunky 6-year-old. After she left the orphanage that day, the girl told the other children, “That’s my mom.”

More than two decades...

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