Veteran paratrooper and Army Sgt. First Class Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck’s military career took a turn for the worst when she became paralyzed from the waist down after a crash landing during a parachute jump.
Doctors told her she would never walk again, but Mazyck was determined and can now walk with the help of forearm crutches. She has also become a Paralympics athlete and college graduate.
On Friday, TrueCar and AutoNation awarded a retrofitted vehicle to Mazyck. The companies presented the vehicle at an event at the AutoNation Chevrolet Pembroke Pines dealership in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
It is the third year and fourth vehicle donation through DrivenToDrive, which is a program between partners TrueCar, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and AutoNation.
The companies and DAV created the program for injured veterans like Mazyck, helping those with military service-connected disabilities get back behind the wheel and regain their freedom.
Mazyck said her experience has shown her that “the ability to get from point A to point B is instrumental to achieving one’s goals.”
“Whether it’s taking my first steps after being told I’d never walk again after my injury, competing on the U.S. Paralympic team, or even dropping my son off at school, mobility and freedom go hand in hand,” Mazyck said in a news release.
She added, “I’m grateful to have been able to serve my country, and am honored by this gift and recognition through the DrivenToDrive program.”
Mazyck plans to use her new retrofitted vehicle to further her passion for adaptive sports such as basketball. The new vehicle will help her transport her sports wheelchair without relying on others for help.
“Veterans like Ce-Ce are exactly the reason we started the DrivenToDrive program at TrueCar,” said TrueCar interim chief executive officer and president Mike Darrow.
Darrow continued, “Her story is one of triumph over adversity, of appreciation of freedom, and of dedicated service to something bigger than oneself. We are humbled by the opportunity to help men and women like Ce-Ce who have lost the privilege and independence that driving affords in the service of our country, and are grateful to partner with AutoNation and DAV to amplify the impact of DrivenToDrive.”
“AutoNation is honored to partner with TrueCar and DrivenToDrive in recognizing U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Centra ‘Ce-Ce’ Mazyck for her service and presenting her with a brand-new vehicle,” said AutoNation executive vice president and chief marketing officer Marc Cannon.
Cannon added, “We are thankful for all the men and women who have served our country and are proud to support these heroes through our involvement with DrivenToDrive.”
“DAV is dedicated to ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them,” said DAV national adjutant and chief executive officer Marc Burgess.
Burgess continued, “We’re proud to once again partner with TrueCar on the DrivenToDrive program, which helps give back the freedom and privilege of driving to deserving veterans.”
Mazyck, Darrow, Cannon and DAV National 1st jr. vice commander Andy Marshall were scheduled to attend the vehicle giveaway event.