W. MI coach not slowed by multiple sclerosis


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — At the age of 34, Andrea “Speedie” Hampton has coached children of all ages.

“Like I tell the kids, we don’t use the word can’t,” Hampton said.

Her brother gave her the nickname, Speedie.  Even though she was a quick athlete, it has nothing to do with all the sports she played as a kid. 

“I was still in my mom’s womb, and he was like ‘C’mon Speedie, hurry up,”” Hampton said.

She was always an active participant in hockey and softball, but about 10 years ago, Speedie noticed her step was slowing.

“My running wasn’t as good as what it used to be,” Hampton said. “Then standing as well wasn’t as good.”

In 2011, Hampton was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. 

“It’s just my body and how my MS (multiple sclerosis) works that it will just break me down,” Hampton said. “I’ll just get mad at myself because I don’t know why I’m breaking down.”

Speedie often goes back to that coaching line she often tells her kids.

“I think now with my MS (multiple sclerosis), it’s whatever sport I can try that works for me, that’s what I wanted to do,” Hampton added.

When she’s not working two other jobs and coaching at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, people can likely find her working out. 

With the help of the YMCA, Speedie has started fencing and even playing lacrosse.

“I think for me, it’s just try. That’s pretty much it. You do something until you know it’s impossible for you to do,” Hampton said.

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