Jennifer Bricker, now 27, was born without any legs and put up for adoption by her parents at birth. She was adopted into a loving family and told that “can’t” would not be a word in her vocabulary. One thing that Jennifer desired more than anything was to be a “tumbler” and her hero was a girl named Dominique Moceanu. What transpired in the course of her life and what she later discovered about her hero is nothing short of incredible. Some might even say miraculous.
Gerald and Sharon Bricker brought little Jennifer home to love and care for her in the tiny town of Hardinville, Illinois. They raised little Jennifer in the same manner they raised their three older sons with one simple rule, “Never say the word ‘can’t.'”
Though she didn’t have legs and wanted to become a tumbler, her father bought her a trampoline at age 7 to begin learning how to tumble… and tumble she did!
Jennifer Bricker began actually entering gymnastic competitions and soon after, found herself dominating those competitions.
In high school, she was the tumbling champion of the State of Illinois!
But she didn’t stop there. Jennifer also played softball and basketball, not just at home, but on the field and on the court.
Jennifer never considered herself as handicapped. In fact, when friends said that she was handicapped because she used a wheelchair, Jennifer said that she only used it to keep her from getting dirty, according to her father.
At 16, Jennifer asked her mother if she knew anything about her biological family that had not been revealed. Her mother then revealed that Jennifer’s longtime hero, Dominique Moceanu, was her biological sister.
Jennifer tracked Dominique down, wrote her a letter, including photos and adoption papers.
Dominique, an Olympic gold medalist, was shocked to find out she had a sister. Even more shocking for her was that she was as gymnast and that she had no legs.
“Jennifer looked like the spitting image of my younger sister Christina,” Dominique said.
Jennifer now lives in Hollywood, drives a specially equipped car and lives a normal, independent life. She’s also earning a living as a gymnast and has worked with Britney Spears as well as providing other performances as New York’s Lincoln Center.
Dominque Moceanu documented in her memoir Off Balance some of the many things that not only she, but her sister have experienced in their lives and how they came together.
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