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USA Fencing Wheelchair National Championships in Milwaukee April 17-20

 A regular feature of the CBS 58 News at 4 p.m. is \"Our Stories with Michele\" a collection of homespun tales giving us a better perspective of our community when negative headlines dominate the news.

Friday's feature was on the USA Fencing Wheelchair National Championships underway at the Wisconsin Center all weekend.

Admission is free and the public is welcome to see the athletes compete.

Coach Les Stawicki used to coach able bodied athletes for the Polish Olympic team.

\"I came to United States, built fencing in Louisville,\" Stawicki told CBS 58 News. \"Some day came to me, people with physical disabilities, ask me, they would like to try it.\"

Just imagine the strength of character it would take to give it a go.

But as witnessed in Milwaukee, there are plenty ready to give it a chance, and take a stab at the misperceptions of those who don't get around like most us.

Champion fencer Curtis Lovejoy has always been an athlete, but never swimming or fencing until he got into a car accident. 

\"I've been doing this 30 plus years,\" Lovejoy said. \"Five Paralympic games. Getting ready for Rio in 2016.  I always believed you never let the disability control you. You control the disability.\"

Funding is a major issue for the athletes, especially when it comes to representing the U.S. in international competition.

The Department of Veterans Affairs funded a clinic for wounded military members, in hopes of bolstering the numbers participating in wheelchair fencing.

National Championship titles are on the line for the 2016 Paralympic hopefuls. This is also a qualifiers for the 2015 Wheelchair World Championships.

VISIT Milwaukee estimates that the four day event will have an economic impact of $19 million.

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