Iowa teenager heading to Rio for Paralympics - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa teenager heading to Rio for Paralympics

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Picture courtesy @Billyc03 on Twitter. Picture courtesy @Billyc03 on Twitter.
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

An Eastern Iowa teenager will be heading to Rio to compete in the Paralympics next week.

Jessica Heims is a senior at Cedar Rapids Prairie High School and will be competing on the track in the 400 and will also throw the discus.

Heims was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, which is when bands in the womb get wrapped around a certain body part restricting the blood flow.

"I was born with a little baby foot that didn't work so we had to cut it off," Heims told us.

It's something that would not keep her down, instead at 17-years-old she is now Rio bound.

"I kept asking are you sure I'm actually going? Are you sure? Then I started crying," Heims says.

She says she got her blade for running at just 11-years-old and it took some adjusting.

"It took a long time for me to trust it because you know you can't really feel it and you don't know when it's gonna land and what's gonna be there," she says.

Now Heims enjoys pushing her limits.

"Some people have tunnel vision, I don't have that. I'm usually very conscious of what I'm doing but once I get into a rhythm I'm like yeah this hurts a lot but it's okay it's fun," she says.

Her hard work has paid off in ways Heims always dreamed it would.

"I go to bed at night thinking, I'm actually going, I'm actually going," she told us.

Heims will leave for Rio on Saturday.

Next school year she will take her talents to UNI to join the Panthers track and field team.

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