Kayla Montgomery is no ordinary teen. She is one of the fastest long distance runners in the United States.
But during every race, she stops feeling her legs and cannot even stop voluntarily post a race when she actually needs someone to catch and stop her.
Kayla has Multiple Sclerosis, or MS.
MS is a is an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems.
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatments attempt to improve function after an attack and prevent new attacks.
During a race or even during practice, as Kayla’s body begins to heat up, she stops feeling her legs and cannot even gauge her speed or the reaction of her legs. At the finish line, her coach Patrick Cromwell stands to hold her and stop her. Post this, ice is applied all over her body and legs to get her body to cool down quickly so that she can regain sensation in her legs.
Kayla was a regular soccer player and loved it too. When she was 14, she fell down during a soccer player and started feeling a tingling feeling in her toes and she could not feel her feet. When it was diagnosed, it was found to be MS. This is when she was just about to start high school as a freshman in North Carolina, USA.
For 8 long months, she lost all feeling (sensation) below her waist. She was really angry and did not understand why was God doing this to her. Medication enabled Kayla to stem the onset of the disease’s debilitating effects. But, she had to give up playing soccer (a contact sport) which is when she took to athletics and long distance running..
Her coach described her to be average at best.
But, Kayla’s determination yielded results with her showing constant improvements over the last 4 years. She trained very hard and ran oer 40 miles every week. Her determination can only be additionally established when at her last race as a high school student, she fell down somewhere around the 100m distance but picked herself up to win the race with a competitive time of 10.43 minutes.
Do watch the ESPN E60 video of her grit and mettle.
Read about other inspirational people and some of their stories and anecdotes:
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