Have you heard about the outstanding young woman , Kayla Montgomery? She's one of the top long distance runners her age and has a reputation for setting and breaking her own records. But there's something about Kayla that sets her apart from other athletes her age - and it leaves her in pain every time she races.
Kayla was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when she was 14, a disease that affects the central nervous system. Failing to let the disease define her, Kayla chose to fight back, becoming one of the fastest young distance runners in the country. Kayla told ESPN, "[Running] makes me feel normal, and whole. It's difficult to live with a disease where your own body's fighting against yourself; so when I'm running I feel like I'm battling that, I feel like I'm safe from myself. As long as I'm running, everything's fine."
Kayla Montgomery is now a freshman at Lipscomb University, a private Christian College. Despite her medical condition, she continues to race on the cross-country team. In an interview with the New York Times, Montogomery touched on the challenge of college recruitment. While many wanted the star runner, when she informed coaches of her disease, they said it was fine, "but then they didn't call back." When you visit Kayla Montgomery's profile page of Lipscomb's athletics page, her profile only focuses on her awards and track records. Nothing is different, and nothing portrays her struggle with MS. "Normal," just as she said she wanted to be in numerous interviews.
The video below is a video from ESPN's E:60. This is the story of Kayla Montgomery in high school and her coach Patrick Cromwell, the man who would catch her at the finish line.
To learn more about Multiple Sclerosis you can visit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation page.