She’s one of the fastest young women in the United States, but Kayla Montgomery’s success is against all odds.
The North Carolina schoolgirl has multiple sclerosis, a nerve disease which left her unable to feel her legs for several months when diagnosed four years ago.
For the then elite soccer player, it was a hard reality to face.
“I was mad,” she told ESPN.
“I was really mad.”
Kayla took up running as soon as medication returned sensation to her legs, relying on coach Patrick Cromwell to not only push her, but catch her as well.
As she runs and her body temperature rises, Kayla begins to lose sensation in her legs, meaning Cromwell has to catch her to avoid falling to ground.
After applying ice and water, the feeling returns with no long term damage.
It’s a technique that’s worked for the pair for four years, and Kayla is improving against the odds from an “average” runner to the 21st fastest in the country.
In her last race with Cromwell at the North Carolina State titles, Kayla fell in the first 100 metres, only to catch up and take out first place.