Helping Young Runner Train for Gold

Desmond JacksonDesmond Jackson was born with a congenital deformity of his left leg. Doctors recommended amputation. The above knee amputation was performed at Johns Hopkins when Desmond was a baby, but he quickly learned to crawl without the leg. Desmond, now 15, attends Hillside High School in Durham, NC, and has participated in football, golf, and other sports, but has found great passion and success around running.

 

Desmond competed against adults in the 100m at the Desert Challenge International Grand  Prix Track Meet in May 2015
Desmond competed against adults in the 100m at the Desert Challenge International Grand Prix Track Meet in May 2015

image Desmond’s events are the 100, 200, 400, and long jump. Interestingly, he competes on his high school team alongside other runners, but must compete alone at the state level according to high school competition rules.

Desmond competes in a variety of disabled athlete competitions and is officially classified as a T42. His dream is to participate in the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil. Getting there requires training and participation in various meets. This year’s events are:

  • Arizona Grand Prix Desert Games—May
  • IPC Paralympic National Trials–June 19-21 (Location TBD)
  • National Junior Disability Championships–July 18-24, NJ (for this event Desmond will be participating on the NC team based in Charlotte)
  • Para-Pan American Games—August 7-15, Toronto (if chosen to be part of US delegation based on June trials)

The Given Limb is paying the travel expenses for Desmond and his mother, Deborah, to attend these events, as well as Desmond’s training costs and entry fees.