Utah woman critically hurt on LDS mission eyes new goal — Ragnar

Kendal Levine works with her therapist at Neuroworx (Photo: Mike Stephen / KUTV)

(KUTV) She went from being a star athlete to losing her ability to walk.

Now, a Utah woman who was critically injured on her LDS mission is going after a lofty goal — walking one mile.

Kendal Levine, 22, is preparing to take part in the Wasatch Back Ragnar race in northern Utah June 2 and 3. The former star basketball player at Stansbury High School said, with the help of her physical therapist, she knows she can do it.

“He’s going to push me and I’m going to push him,” Levine said,as she finished up another day of therapy at Neuroworx in Sandy, a non-profit rehabilitation center, where she's been working on walking and other skills she lost in September 2014.

Levine was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia when she got out of her car to take a picture. Another car hit her, causing her to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

After the accident, Levine had to learn how to talk and walk again. She said it’s been a difficult journey.

“There’s been bad days,” Levine said, “but now I'm just kind of on the uphill.”

She’s made so much progress that her therapists have allowed her to join one of the Neurowork teams at Ragnar. She will use her walker to help her finish the mile-long journey.

“I have no doubt that she will complete it and do awesome,” said Matt Hansen, Levine’s physical therapist at Neuroworx.

“Seeing someone that goes through such a catastrophic, traumatic injury — looking at what they came from and where they're headed — is phenomenal,” added Jan Black, Neuroworx co-founder.

Levine said she's happy with her progress during the past two-and-a-half years. She hopes to finish her mission. And one day, she plans to study physical therapy.

“I know what it's like,” Levine said with a smile. “When patients will be complaining, I'll be like, 'Suck it up! I was there before!'”

You can donate to support Levine’s Ragnar participation here. All donations will go to Neuroworx.

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