WANE 15 honored for story on paralyzed runner’s inspiring moves

Local News

When WANE 15 Sports Reporter Andy McDonnell came across the story of Alissa Jagger, he knew it needed to be shared.

Jagger was a stand-out runner at Columbia City High School, but her career was ended in a 2015 traffic crash that left her with a broken spine.

Her spirit, though, remained intact.

Less than three years after the crash, Jagger attended her high school graduation in June 2018. It was there, in a crowded auditorium, that Jagger showed “what can be done with faith and hope and determination.”

Jagger left the wheelchair she is bound to and walked across the stage to receive her diploma.

McDonnell was there to capture the moment, and he spoke with Jagger and her family about their story.

That story has now been honored with a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award, among the most prestigious honors in news. The Murrow Awards honor reports that demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community.

For McDonnell, the award is just another reason to recall a truly inspirational story and person in Jagger.

“The best part, to me, is the fact that this story continues to carry some weight and will continue to get some views around the country and around the world,” said McDonnell. “The award is great but Alissa’s story needs to be continually showed because it’s such an inspiration.”

Watch the 2-part ‘Moves Like Jagger’ story below:

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