CYPRESS, Texas – Former Miss Olympia competitor Tina Chandler is lifting spirits by working out parents of children with disabilities. It is part of a program Chandler founded with her husband, Carl Ducena, called Normal To Be Fit.
They train, among others, about 20 children with disabilities to boost self-esteem and physical health. Three years into the program, Chandler and Ducena work with parents like Desiree and Darius Bradley. The couple spends nearly 20 hours a day nursing their daughter, Deonc, who lives with a rare syndrome called Jarcho-Levin and is on a ventilator.
Monday, the Bradleys worked out at Iron City Gym and said their training changed their lives.
“We feel as her parents it’s our responsibility to be the best that we can be better than your best,” Desiree Bradley said. “So for us to get healthy, how can we set an example for the kids if we’re not doing it ourselves?”
“As (much) as they’re there for their kids, (the parents) need a boost,” Ducena said. “They need that motivation. They need that inspiration. So we’re here to bring them in so they can stop neglecting themselves.”
In eight months, Darius Bradley said he lost 100 pounds. His wife said she has more energy to care for their daughter.