Local taekwondo champion doesn't let chronic illness hold her ba - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local taekwondo champion doesn't let chronic illness hold her back


She fights on the mat but also battles a chronic illness off the mat. 

Alyssa Fencil was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis years after finding her passion for taekwondo. 

"I was initially diagnosed in 2008 after a pair of car accidents," said Alyssa Fencil of Stevens Point. "I had the misfortune of being rear ended twice, three months apart." "I was kind of blind sided by it, I had no idea it was coming and then the next thing I know, I have it." 

She took a break for several years but with the help of her coach, she returned to the mat.

"She had a journey ahead of her - as physical fitness goes, she has lost 100 pounds since her return to the studio," said USA Taekwondo coach, Stephen Decker. "As well as her struggles with M.S., getting involved in high level competition wasn't on the forefront of our thoughts."

In 2017 she became eligible for the para-taekwondo division. 

Her coach says it's been a roller coaster since then. 

"To have so much success so soon is unique," said Decker. 

Regardless of her health, Fencil is determined to make a name for herself. 

"Everyone is going to have something happen to them," said Fencil. "You're the one that determines how it is going to impact you and I'm choosing to turn it into something incredible that not a lot of people get to do."

The Stevens Point native will head to a tournament in Costa Rica at the end of August before competing in the World Taekwondo Championships on October 19th, in London. 

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