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Navy SEALs, para-athletes gear up for weekend competition

TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Patrick Canez has been in a wheelchair since he was just 10-months-old after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

"This experience for him, I never imagined that it would happen," said Sandra Canez, Patrick's mother.

Regardless of his disability, he loves sports and the outdoors.

What he loves, even more, is the competition.

Patrick is one of 10 para-athletes who are part of a team, "2Gether We Live." The non-profit organization pairs up athletes, like Patrick, with "support athletes" -- U.S. Navy SEALs and other volunteers -- to compete in competitions both in the Valley and across the nation.

"It makes us, I think, one of the largest multi-sport events to bring in 12 individuals all through rafts and running and team partnerships," said Tim Bolden, founder of 2Gether We Live.

What makes competing so fun for these para-athletes is the opportunity to do more physically than ever thought possible, and competing alongside teammates they see as heroes.

"It's just very exciting and rewarding as a parent to have him participate and finish, whether it be walking across the finish line or running or riding around on a special bike that they made for him," Sandra said.

No matter the disability or the severity, together, just being able to cross the finish line is the greatest victory.