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Joe Beene gets frank - Odessa American: News

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Joe Beene gets frank

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Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2007 12:00 am

As someone who speaks in churches a couple times a month, you may think Joe Beene is talking about walking with God when he says he’ll rise out of his wheelchair.

But the former Permian High linebacker, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2000 foot-ball practice, said there’s nothing metaphoric about it.

“I’ll be walking physically,” he said. “You can put that in bold letters.”

Beene, 24, undergoes two hours of physical therapy three days a week. His arms and legs show no signs of atrophy, despite not working for nearly seven years.

“I’m still healthy,” he said. “I’m still muscular.”

In therapy, Beene rides a bike with electrical muscle stimulation.

He also spends his time taking care of his niece and going to school. Beene said he’s about 18 months away from a business degree at the UTPB.

And though churches and other organizations ask him to speak, Beene said he’s even more ex-cited about sharing his faith with those outside of church.

“The love of God has actions,” he said. “If you have the ability to help someone and you don’t, that’s not really showing the love of God.”

Lara DeShazo, Beene’s caregiver and “ninja sidekick,” said she was nervous when she first began working with him, and Beene had a stern look on his face. But his fun-loving side quickly came out.

“He does more for me than I do for him,” she said.

Many others try to do for Beene as well. This Friday marks the seventh annual Joe Beene benefit golf tournament. Tournament co-chair Dan Brazelton said it’s raised close to $375,000 over the years.

Koy Stribling, a member of the tournament’s board, whose son, Tyler Stribling, played football with Beene at Permian, said his favorite part of the event is afterwards, when Beene speaks.

“He’s an amazing kid to go through what he’s gone through, and how he praises the people who helped him,” he said.

Although he is still a Mojo fan, Beene said he also pulls for Odessa High — as long as the Bron-chos aren’t facing the Panthers.

“There’s so much more important things (than rivalries),” he said. “When it comes to sports and it comes to people, people are way more important than sports.”

WANT TO HELP?

>> What: Joe Beene Benefit golf tournament

>> When: 12:30 p.m. shotgun start Friday.

>> Where: Nueva Vista Golf Club, Midland

>> Note: Field limited to first 120 paid entrants.

>> Call: 362-8800 or 381-0220.

Odessa, TX

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