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Cameron Stanley – February 7, 2020

His own fast lane

Tri-West swimmer overcomes obstacles to help others

By Mike Beas

Cameron Stanley’s swimming abilities will eventually allow him to continue his athletic career at Anderson University starting the 2020-21 school year.

Tri-West senior Cameron Stanley works hard to overcome dyslexia and coaches Special Olympic swimmers, including his brother Preston. (Photo by Eric Pritchett)

Away from the pool, the Tri-West senior has been even more impressive.

Stanley was diagnosed with dyslexia in the first-grade, making the start of his academic career and the years that would follow no walk in the park. However, his willingness to work to keep up far outweighed any urge Stanley might have had to feel sorry for himself.

“My mom and dad were really able to help me overcome it,” said Cameron Stanley, the oldest of Scott and Julie Stanley’s four children. “Reading was hard because the words would get mixed up, and it would take me longer to read things. I kind of said, ‘These are the cards I was dealt.’ My parents always supported me. They kept pushing, and I kept going on.”

Despite the challenges, Stanley carries a 3.5 grade-point average at Tri-West and is going to major in mechanical engineering at Anderson.

As a swimmer, he represents the Bruins individually in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races and swims the second leg in the 200 and 400 relays. Stanley’s final season of high school competition is winding down with Tri-West’s boys team scheduled to compete at the Decatur Central Sectional on Feb. 20.

Stanley’s swimming involvement extends as he helps coach in the Hendricks County Special Olympics program once his high school season is over until June. Among those he coaches is his younger brother, Preston, 16, who was born with ring chromosome 13, a rare genetic disorder that mostly affects his cognitive ability and physical development.

Cameron has embraced working with Preston because the brothers have always been close.

“It’s not always easy, but I’ve learned to be more patient,” said Cameron. “I had to mature a lot sooner. Preston has always looked up to me, so I’ve always wanted to do the right things.”

Stanley might not leave Tri-West holding any of the school’s swim records. And that’s alright, according to second-year Bruins coach Beth Jones, because the manner in which Stanley carries himself while representing his family, school and community are impressive enough.

“First of all, Cameron is a good student, but he’s worked hard to be a good student. With his dyslexia, he has learned to work within those challenges with his school work,” said Jones. “And he’s one of the hardest-working swimmers we have.”

Before last season’s sectional, Stanley broke his right ankle, keeping him from competing in the postseason. Instead of taking this season off after being out of the pool for four months, he’s powered his way back through sheer determination.

“Cameron has been fighting back since last February, but it’s been a slow, long road back,” said Jones. “He does not take days off.”



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