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Moosman named athlete of the year

By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate sports reporter

Karen Moosman practices her tumbling at the park.

Local tumbler, Karen Moosman was named the Athlete of the Year by the Southeast Utah Tumbling Association.

She earned the honor edging out close friend and rival Shaylee Winward for points earned in cumulative points for the entire year. Moosman has competed in every meet throughout the season and qualified for the state tournament as well.

The 10 year old Moosman has been competing in tumbling for several years. She competes at level 5a in a sport that has levels 1-6. She beat out over 100 other girls who were competing at the same level she was.

What makes this honor even more amazing is that Moosman also has severe scoliosis of the spine. Her diagnosis is at 64 percent curvature. If she continues to deteriorate she may face surgery soon. When a spine reaches a point of 70-80 percent curvature it begins to affect the heart and the lungs. She was hoping to postpone the surgery until she reached her teen years and had done most of her growing, but it may have to be done sooner.

If she has the surgery, they will fuse a metal rod to her spine. The results of that will be that while she will have perfect posture for the rest of her life, she will no longer be able to bend or arch her back. Her tumbling days will be over. She will also not grow any more in length in her body, although her arms and legs will continue to grow at a normal pace.

Moosman fell in love with tumbling several years ago. Local doctors advised her mother against her participation in the sport. But her mother DeeAnn Moosman checked with her specialist and they were in support of her involvement. They felt like the more exercise and movement of the spine, the longer they might be able to delay the progression of the scoliosis. Her mother has taken on a job to help with the expenses that this has added to the family. Moosman rides with her best friend Winward to tumbling after school.

"Pineau Nelson has been wonderful in working with Karen" her mother stated. "She has made sure she knows the best way to help her succeed."

The family has an appointment with the specialist at the end of the month and will know then if she is facing surgery soon.





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