CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Deborah Chucoski is a mother, a former college track and field star, and a triathlete looking to qualify for the Paralympics being held in Paris in 2024.

Chucoski was diagnosed with Stargardt disease when she was just 15 years old. It’s an inherited disease that deteriorates central vision with currently no available cure. While Chucoski may face daily struggles with the disease, it was actually one of the reasons that inspired her to start track and field.

“I was always very athletic from a young age. I pursued soccer competitively and actually thought I was going to be a professional soccer player some day,” said Chucoski. “When I got diagnosed, I knew that looking directly at a soccer ball may be a little bit harder to do. So, I switched to just focusing on track and field.”

The focus paid off. Chucoski went on to attend Cedarville University in Ohio where she majored in exercise science. She graduated in 2007 and spent all 4 years competing on the Yellow Jackets track and field team which she described as the time of her life.

Following graduation, Chucoski got married and became a mother to two children. While her family was complete, having kids took a toll on both her mental and physical health. She began to see significant and rapid changes in her vision which led to some worries.

“I was having a lot of anxiety about what was going to happen. Was I going to be swept off in the middle of my swim because I can’t see when I lift my head up above water? Am I going to get hit by a car while I am biking?” she asked herself.

Chucoski and her husband decided to take a break from triathlons. But, he knew how much she loved competing.

“He asked me if I would consider paratriathlons when a guide is actually attached to you,” she said. “This way they could see for me and let me run to my fullest potential each race.”

That is exactly what she did. Deborah now competes in triathlons with a guide. She thanks God for her resilience.

“I’m a really big member of my church and I have a really strong church community. That keeps me grounded as i have continued to be pursuing this adventure,” Chucoski explains. “It has helped me keep things in perspective and I feel God has truly called me to pursue this.”

Even with the struggles Deborah faces each and every day, she leaves us all with a message that anything is possible.

“When you throw a rock in the water, it has a ripple effect, I want to have that same positive effect on everyone. I still have struggles with my vision and headaches but I’m still going to get up everyday. And I want to inspire as many people as I can that they can do the same.”

The olympic window for the triathlon event begins on July 1st of this year. Between then and next year, Deborah plans to compete in 6 races in hopes to gain enough placement points to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris.

Deborah is also always looking for local sponsors to help her throughout her triathlon journey. If you’d like to sponsor her you can email her at