Legally blind gymnast overcomes adversity through practice

BAYTOWN, Texas -- Adrianna Kenebrew, 11, loves gymnastics more than anything in the world. "It makes you feel free like on the bars whenever you are swinging it feels like you can just do anything. It feels like you are flying."

While Adrianna works hard at her sport, like any aspiring gymnast, she's had to overcome an additional challenge -- losing her eyesight. She was diagnosed with glaucoma as an infant and is legally blind.

"Adrianna can see shapes. She can see lights flashing," explained her mother Asha Kenebrew. "She is very sensitive to lights."

Dr. Kimberly Yen with Texas Children's Hospital added, "(Adrianna) also has cataracts which developed as a result of the glaucoma."

Dr. Yen says Adrianna has gone through several surgeries to preserve what's left of her vision.

Adrianna's best friend Micah Meaux is always by her side. "I just give her a little boost of confidence, just telling her it's going to be okay. It's going to help you and it's going to be all worth it in the end."

In a sport where precision is everything, Adrianna hasn't let her vision slow her down. She dreams of following in the footsteps of her idol, Gabby Douglas.

"I want to be the first visually impaired gymnast to win gold at the Olympics," she said. "You can follow your dreams, no matter what people say or do."

Adrianna says her vision problems only make her work harder to reach that goal. She practices at her Baytown gym about nine hours a week, and her hard work is paying off. In 2013, the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation named Adrianna the female athlete of the year for her region.
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