Lacey Henderson

Ali on the Run Show Episode 322: Lacey Henderson, Paralympic Long Jumper

“I went on this journey of constantly proving to people that I could do everything they could do. Because I knew I could!”

When Lacey Henderson was just nine years old, she was diagnosed with soft-tissue cancer in her leg. After trying a series of experimental treatments — none of which ultimately worked — Lacey underwent above-the-knee amputation surgery, just before her tenth birthday. Today, Lacey is a Paralympic long jumper competing at the highest level, and she’ll be the first to tell you that she is so much more than her disability. (She also, on this episode, talks about that word, “disability,” and reflects on why it’s not quite her favorite word.) Lacey is happy, joyful, and tough, and this conversation covers everything from ableism, discovering disabled sport, and having tough conversations on the street to cheerleading and American Girl dolls.

SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On being diagnosed with cancer at nine years old (7:30)
  • Lacey reflects on the day she had her leg amputated (10:30)
  • On life after amputation (17:40)
  • Lacey’s experience with “disability denial” (25:30)
  • How Lacey found running after amputation (34:45)
  • On overcoming “verbal constipation” (51:00)
  • Where Lacey is at with running right now (56:45)

What we mention on this episode:

AfterShokz “Be Open” conversation

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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