Alex Breuker: Norton Shores Lacrosse Prodigy to Paralympic All-Tournament Goalie

“I do this to inspire people who are like me” – MCC student and Paralympic Lacrosse Goalkeeper, Alex Breuker.

Aaron Petersen, Contributing Writer

The journey for all aspiring athletes is comprised of numerous trials, setbacks, and serendipitous moments. No one understands this notion more than Paralympic Lacrosse Goalkeeper, Alex Breuker.

“I guess I struggled for a while with not thinking I can achieve my goals,” said Breuker, coming to terms with what pushed him to be the player he is. “I do this to inspire people who are like me. Though I have the ability to still walk, some of my teammates don’t. I have a certain teammate who is paralyzed for the waist down and let me tell you, he kills it out there. Nothing and I mean nothing, will hold you back from your goals, even disability.”

Hailing from Mona Shores High School, Breuker was diagnosed with Hyperparathyroidism, a condition where the body’s parathyroid gland is unable to produce enough calcium to support the host’s body, not allowing him to walk for extended periods of time. His diagnosis has also enabled numerous other conditions, such as Hypocalcemia, Hypo magnesium, Nephrocalcinosis, polycystic kidney disease, and scoliosis; all of which trace back to his volatile immune system due to a lack of calcium.

“I always feel like I have more to prove,” he said. “I got ridiculed in high school for being disabled and playing sports. Before lacrosse, I did shotput and discus and I ended off getting pushed off the team due to my disability despite being the second-best for the school. When I joined lacrosse, I was scared the same thing would happen, but Coach Murle Greer welcomed me to his lacrosse family, and to this day I coach for him to show my gratitude for accepting me.”

Now embracing his hindrances, Breuker is now the goalkeeper for the Rouge River Steelheads, an amateur team from Beverly Hills, Michigan. Beating the odds, he played in the Wheelchair Lacrosse U.S.A League National Summer Invitational in San Diego on August 27, 2021, where he was nominated All-Tournament goalie.

“My condition was a challenge at first,” he mentioned. “I always wanted to be ‘normal’ most of my life, I would take upwards of 35 pills a day. But, as I got older, I learned to love and embrace who I am, and yeah, I have physical limitations I can’t perform. I wish I could run 100 meters without my legs beginning to spasm or be able to sleep every night calmly without the fear of a seizure or a nightly spasm. But at the end of the day, I know my limitations and I push them, I want my legs to get better and they are.”

Thankful for the support he has gained, Breuker has held the sincerest gratitude for his parents, who were there every step of the way throughout his illustrious journey.

“I owe my success to them,” Breuker explained. “Though my mom was terrified of me getting injured playing she gave the okay. They came to everything, truly they were my biggest cheerleaders. I’m 20 years old, and my parents still drove with me to Detroit for one of my IBLA games. It was always comforting to hear their voices on the sidelines, even when it was for a save or them telling me to chin up.”

Breuker now attends Muskegon Community College in pursuit of a degree in Forensic Psychology in Criminal Justice. Through all his adversity, he continues to be a beam of hope for those who struggle with physical disabilities and a shining example of what it takes to compete professionally.