Kayla Montgomery, 18, is one of the fastest young distance runners in the United States. Kayla was diagnosed with MS when she was 8 years old. The North Carolina high school student trains 50 miles a week and just won a coveted state title. The Inspiring Teenage Track Star Who’s Changing the Face of MS was covered in an article by Yahoo.shine.
Kayla Montgomery, 18, is one of the country’s fastest young distance runners. The North Carolina high school student trains 50 miles a week and just won a coveted state title. She also has multiple sclerosis.
“When she was diagnosed with MS, Kayla said to the coach, ‘Coach, I don’t know how much time I have left, so I want to run fast — don’t hold back,’” Patrick Cromwell, Montgomery’s coach at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, told the New York Times in a profile of the resilient teenager. “That’s when I said, ‘Wow, who are you?’”
An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 children and adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with MS. Montgomery is also one of a high-performing athlete living with the disease—pushing herself to such limits when she runs that she ends each race by uncontrollably staggering and then collapsing into Cromwell’s waiting arms.
Kayla’s symptoms include numbness below the waste which gives her a bizarre advantage. If she quits running, her legs will buckle and she’ll need to be caught by her coach.
Kayla has become an inspiration, “I guess I found the determination to keep pushing because I refused to allow MS to keep me from doing the things I loved,” she told Yahoo Shine in a Facebook message. “I didn’t want to be defined by having MS, so I continue to push and give it my all every day that I can… I know that with MS my mobility isn’t necessarily guaranteed, so I’ve decided to take every day that I can run and make the most out of it.”