East Tennessee amputee creates golf competition for athletes with disabilities

MARYVILLE (WATE) – Never tell Dean Jarvis he can’t do something. Jarvis, who is originally from Meigs County and now lives in Maryville, is a big time sports fan and participant, despite a major obstacle.

Whether it’s golf or any sport, Jarvis is relentless.

In high school, he was a big time basketball player, pouring in points on a leg that turned out had cancer

“In my very last game, I scored 40 [points.] That was the last day I would ever walk with that leg,” said Jarvis.

In college, he played baseball with a steel rod in that leg. He played so hard it snapped.

“I think it was the next day I had it amputated,” he said.

The surgery removed his leg above the knee, but Jarvis never slowed down.

Jarvis founded the ParaLong Drive Competition in Mesquite, Nevada. His goal is to get the attention of Paralympics officials, because he believes golf should be one of the competitions.

“I did a little research and found that golf was excluded from the Paralympics. Even though it may be the very best rehabilitation sport for wounded veterans and civilians, that it just didn’t make the cut.”

Jarvis says he’s never used his disability as an excuse not to be able to do something, including golf, which can be challenging for anyone. For those struggling with the recent loss of a limb, he says to seek the comfort of those who’ve been there.

“It’s kind of like a family. We all know the struggles, whether physical or emotional. We’ve been through it and we might be able to give some advice,” he said.

His best advice is focus on what you love to do. For him it’s a contest that takes place in Mesquite, but was made in Tennessee.

More online: Amputee Long Drive Championship

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