Woman Who Lost Her Sight And Was Told She’d Never Walk Again Is Back To Bowling After 40 Years

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper, BlackGirlNerds.com, HelloGiggles, Oxygen.com, What to Expect, and more.

It’s been more than 40 years since Zelpho Womack has entered the doors of a bowling alley.

“It was the only sport [where I lived] and I really got involved in it and I really liked it,” she said.

“I don’t know why. It was just the thrill of throwing the ball down there and I was able to bowl four 300 games.”

It’s not that Zelpho doesn’t want to bowl anymore; it’s just been a while since she’s been able to do many of the things she used to do. “I had cancer in 2008 and then again in 2011,” she said.

This cancer survivor battled the illness three times along with a diagnosis of cellulitis. “I was told that I would never walk again and that was the wrong thing to tell me because I was bound and determined,” she said.

“You know what? I’m going to walk.”

Beating the odds, Zelpho took her first steps walking up to a bowling lane.

“I’m just so excited. It was so much fun just to release that ball,” she said. “And all of a sudden it’s like you’re back in 50 years ago. You know, what I used to do.”

Not only did she walk, but she threw a bowling ball for the first time in decades. She had the pleasure of playing alongside a group of blind bowlers on Tuesday, something that was on her to-do list for months.

“It’s just been a positive thing, you know? Bees are busy and they’re positive and they’re always working,” she said of the significance of the bee on her customized bowling shirt.

The bee is identical to the two tattoos she’s gotten to represent two of her battles with cancer, serving as daily reminders to stay positive.

“Be happy. Get busy, you know? Do what you can do and enjoy life because you might not have that much longer,” she said. “But who cares? Go do what you can do.”

Watch this cancer survivor in action in the clip.

Footage provided by KTXL Sacramento

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