Sports — 26 February 2014

By Cheryl Christensen

Rayna DuBose is a motivational speaker. The Columbia, Maryland native is also a substitute teacher and an assistant basketball coach for a men’s team at a local high school in Maryland.

Rayna2DuBose is 30-years old and leading a happy, fulfilling life.

It wasn’t always that way.

“I’m at a place now in my life where I’ve never been more in love with myself, just 100 percent of myself the way that I am today,” said DuBose.

For DuBose, basketball used to be her life and her passion.  She spent all of her younger years perfecting the sport.

“I dedicated my life to being an athlete, to be a basketball player.”

All of that changed when she was 17 years old. After playing just one year on the women’s basketball team for Virginia Tech, a Division I school, DuBose contracted meningitis. Doctors gave her the devastating news.

“To find out that I was losing all of my limbs was devastating to me.  Here I am, this top notch, world class athlete and thinking I have nothing now.”

Living as a quadralateral amputee was DuBose’s new life. Adjusting to prosthetics would prove to be her biggest challenge.

“It was definitely a struggle. It definitely took me a while to accept this is what I was getting ready to go through. It was a terrifying process,” said DuBose.

Then she met Dennis Haun. Dennis is with Metro Prosthetics, which has been helping amputees for 35 years in the Baltimore- Washington D.C area.

“Rayna is an athlete and you could see her summon her competitiveness in order to meet this unbelievable challenge,” said Dennis.

His expertise and her drive made for a good team.

“Dennis knew everything that I wanted for my prosthetics. He knew my lifestyle and how active I am. He also knew I’m an amputee who wanted to try everything out and then I want to break it to see why it did. I’m the type of person who likes to push it to the limits,” said DuBose.

Rayna3“I want the best of what’s out there. One of the great things about Dennis is he encourages me to break things and figure out how we can make them better and stronger.”

Their relationship was a slam dunk. It developed over the years.

“He always kept me updated on the latest prosthetics. He introduced me to others in the prosthetics field. A prosthetist is like your best friend. He knows your body, your limbs to the ‘T’. I am forever grateful for Dennis.”

DuBose has accepted what happened to her and is grateful she has achieved normalcy in her life.

“It’s been a great ride, so far, and I’m glad Dennis was on board with me because I don’t know where I’d be if I had another prosthetist.”

For Metro Prosthetics, individual attention is the key.

“The main aspect of my job that I love the most is that even though we serve hundreds of patients, we serve them one at a time. We don’t treat you just as a patient, but as part of our family,” said Pete Goller, owner of Metro Prosthetics.

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Cheryl Christensen

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