Dan Crawford is keeping his fingers crossed his multiple sclerosis does not flare up while competing in three events at the Invictus Games in Canada.
The 26-year-old lieutenant in the New Zealand Navy from One Tree Point was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2014 after he returned from a three-month tour of duty to Antarctica.
The left side of his body felt numb for six weeks but it faded away. However he has had two relapses since.
Read more: Army chaplain ready for Invictus challenge
Later this month, Mr Crawford will compete in athletics, indoor rowing and swimming at the Invictus Games in Montreal alongside 550 athletes from 17 countries. The Invictus Games is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports.
Born in Tokoroa, Mr Crawford was just 18 months old when his family moved to Okaihau before moving to One Tree Point when he was 6.
Having lived close to the water's edge, joining the navy always appealed to the former Bream Bay College student who also completed a degree in science and mathematics at the University of Auckland while working for the navy.
His degree will help him in navigation and navy operations.
Mr Crawford said people he knew encouraged him to take part in the Invictus Games for which he was training hard.
"I am focusing more on athletics and rowing. Swimming is part of my rehab anyway. I'd like medals in a couple of events but at the end of the day, I want to enjoy the environment."
He will competed in the 400m and 1500m track events.
Mr Crawford hoped he had no relapses of the multiple sclerosis while in Canada.
"This is an opportunity to prove those who would doubt or discriminate based on a diagnosis that I am the same person I was when I joined the navy."
He said it was humbling to train and compete alongside people who had worked through and overcome adversity in their lives.
"I see competing at the Invictus Games as a way of proving that no one should be defined or constrained by their injury or in my case their diagnosis.
"They are a means of supporting the rehabilitation of those who are used to a performing at a high level but for injury or illness have not been able to maintain this."