Former Illini athlete Tatyana McFadden authors autobiography

Alumni In The News

In her autobiography, Ya Sama! Moments from My Life, former Fighting Illini athlete and Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, ’13 ACES, chronicles her journey from being born with spina bifida in Russia in 1989 to growing up in a St. Petersburg orphanage to her U.S. adoption to her international success in wheelchair racing.

Tatyana McFadden autobiography

(Image courtesy of Tatyana McFadden)

Ya sama is a Russian expression meaning “I can do it.” Since her earliest memories, ya sama has been McFadden’s’s guiding belief that she could do anything she set her mind and imagination to do. The result is a life that goes beyond just surviving tragedy to actually using her unique situation to become a success both on and off the racing track.

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