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El Pasoan with Asperger's hoping to qualify for 2016 Olympics

By: Gina Benitez
EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso woman is chasing a big dream.

She's trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Annmarie Keller has been shooting since she was a little girl.

"Since I was about 6 years old, and I'm 23, so...a long time. My grandpa started it and then my dad got into it when he was younger and I just followed in his footsteps," Keller said.

She also has Asperger's.

It's a disorder on the autism spectrum.

Those diagnosed usually have a difficult time interacting with others and face challenges in understanding nonverbal communication such as gestures or facial expressions.

"Communication is a big key for me. I've been doing pretty good, it's just, I've been working through it. Trying to get past it," Keller said.

Earlier this month, Keller took a huge step in reaching one of her biggest childhood dreams.

She headed to Kerrville, Texas to try out for the 2016 Olympic trap shooting team.

"It was a little nerve wracking but it was fun. A lot of training, to practice on the range a lot to be able to go and qualify there too," Keller said.

She didn't qualify this time, but still has a couple more chances this year.

"I have two more tournaments, one coming up in August in Colorado Springs and then November I go to Arkansas," Keller said.

And she's not slowing down anytime soon.

In fact, this minor speedbump pales in comparison to what she's had to overcome in her young life.

This past November, she suffered multiple pulmonary embolisms.

In other words, a sudden blockage of a lung artery.

Her father says the family almost lost her.

Since then, he says he was reminded how precious life really is and that no dream is too big.

"Nothing holds me back. I do what I love. I do a lot of sports so I stay active and stay out of trouble," Keller said.

To help make Keller's dream a reality, click on the link below.

http://www.gofundme.com/AnnmarieKeller

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