AutoNation, TrueCar gift retrofitted SUV to US Army veteran, Paralympian

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A retired U.S. Army sergeant and Paralympian was gifted a new retrofitted SUV thanks to AutoNation and TrueCar.

The two companies teamed up with Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization, to give Centra “Ce-ce” Mazyck a new vehicle in Pembroke Pines, Friday.

“I’m so grateful to AutoNation, TrueCar and the whole Driven to Drive program,” Mazyck said. “It means the world to me to have a car that’s retrofitted to my needs.”

Mazyck became paralyzed while in the Army’s 82nd Airborne division during a routine jump in 2003. The accident happened mid-air.

“As I exited a C-130 aircraft, a gust of wind just took me, and I got entangled with another jumper,” Mazyck said. “I didn’t have time to have a proper landing, so when I land, I land with my feet and my knees totally straight.”

Mazyck, who is a single mother, broke her L1 and L2 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the waist down.

She said she knew the road ahead was tough, but she had to push herself for her son.

“He was only 1 when it happened, so that was my biggest concern: how to raise my son in this situation of me being paralyzed,” Mazyck said.

Through intense rehabilitation and determination, Mazyck was slowly able to walk again. She also became a Paralympian and brought home a bronze medal.

“She’s so incredible, and she’s such a force of nature because she’s so positive and inspirational and inspiring,” TrueCar Chief Marketing Officer Lucas Donat said.

Now, she inspires and helps other veterans.

“What a great person, what a great story, and we’re so excited,” AutoNation Executive Vice President and CMO Marc Cannon said. “We’re now giving her the opportunity of the freedom of the road to be able to return somewhat to the normance of life.”

Mazyck travels the world as a motivational speaker, so she says with her new gift of driving and her car, she will be able to give back to others and pay it forward.

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