Earlier this month, ESPN’s E: 60 series brought you the inspirational story of Kayla Montgomery, a North Carolina teenager living with multiple sclerosis; an incurable disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve cells.
She grew up loving the game of soccer, but was forced to stop upon her diagnosis. She lost feeling in her legs for eight months, but with the help of medication; she was able to recover. After that, she decided to take up running.
Knowing the window of opportunity for running could be short, Kayla wanted to make the most of it, which is precisely what she told her coach, Patrick Cromwell, who admitted she was very average in the beginning; “varsity hopeful by her senior year” is how he put it.
But, with Kayla’s hard work and Cromwell’s coaching abilities (he pushed her hard), she has become one of the best distance runners in the country for her age group. But it comes with a cost.
Heat triggers multiple sclerosis attacks. She admits feeling a tingling, numbing sensation in her feet, which then travels up her legs.
Kayla admitted that in the beginning, it was difficult to pace herself because she felt no pain and couldn’t tell how fast she was going. She has since adapted.
Yet, by the time her race is over, she no longer feels anything from the waist down and collapses, but Coach Cromwell is there to catch her.
When her body temperature returns to normal, she regains full use of her legs–and the attacks cause no permanent damage.
It's a long video for a post, but surely worth watching.