Diver overcomes obstacles to continue sport

Diving demands flexibility and strength and Breanne Schlenger, junior psychology and sociology double major, returned to the diving board on California Baptist University’s swimming and diving team nine weeks after hip replacement surgery due to Perthes disease.

Schlenger was diagnosed with Perthes disease when she was 13 years old. She described the disease as her hipbone not receiving enough blood supply, causing the bone to die and disintegrate. Schlenger said the first months of healing were difficult, but she was able to
overcome the surgery.

“It hurt to get in and out of bed just from surgical pains,” Schlenger said. “I was struggling with feeling like, ‘Lord I know this is your timing but I don’t understand why I’m still in so much pain and can’t get out of bed without crying.’”

Schlenger said God was teaching her about his timing and it is OK to slow down where she is. But Schlenger, a naturally competitive and active individual, said she was not content with the surgery slowing her down.

“I’ve got titanium in (my hip),” she said. “I don’t have anything that is going to break so why would I hold back? When I came to CBU I really started to understand that I am blessed by the ability that I have and I want to use the talents that God has given me to glorify Him.”

Schlenger said that diving is a unique opportunity to share God’s love to other student-athletes they are up against from other schools.

Jeff Couto, head diving coach, said Schlenger brings enthusiasm and encouragement in drawing people back to the gospel.

“She served on SOS and she had her surgery right after that this summer,” Couto said. “Seeing her recover so quickly has inspired the team.”

Couto said a hip surgery typically takes six months to heal so the team was not expecting her to be back so quickly.

“I actually started coming to the trainers here at CBU and they’ve been phenomenal,” Schlenger said.

Schlenger is currently still in physical therapy every day and continues to practice diving every day.

“I changed my state of mind realizing that I am strong now and I have something that is
working, so use it,” Schlenger said.

About Kaylyn Kuntz

Lifestyle Editor

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