Racing

Durham youth runner beating the odds

Posted October 2, 2013
Updated October 3, 2013

— It doesn't take long to be impressed by a kid who spends his Saturday mornings in the weight room.

"Even though he's small, he has the heart of a lion and acts like he's seven feet tall," said Desmond Jackson's track coach Christopher Williams.

"I'm trying to be a champion," said the Durham native Jackson.

Desmond Jackson Mitchell: Durham boy making his mark despite disability

So he's more than willing to put up with his coach's push.

"You have to do more than the average person would do," said Jackson

But average is not in Jackson's vocabulary.

"He was born 13 years ago with a rare birth defect," said Jackson's mother Deborah. "It was decided that amputation would give him the best quality of life. It was really challenging, that's not what you want to hear as a new mom. "

Three years later, while searching for a support group for Jackson, mother and son visited a track meet in Florida for disabled athletes.

"Amazingly while we were there, they chose Desmond for the finale," said Deborah. "They set up a mock race. Desmond ran against an accomplished paralympian and he was a hit."

The three year old, running on a tiny prosthetic leg, fell in love with track and field.

Now 13, he's grown into a bigger faster leg and he's excelling.

"I'm faster than most kids when we run," said Jackson. "It makes me feel good when I beat a lot of kids. That's all I want to do."

And he does that often. He recently won a gold medal at the Junior World games. Jackson's next goal is becoming the youngest athlete to represent the United States in the paralympics in 2016

"it's gratification that you don't know," said Deborah. "Most people think I'm Desmond's inspiration. It's the other way around."

4 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Toddler10-21 Oct 3, 2013

    Good luck Desmond. Great story!!

  • westernwake1 Oct 3, 2013

    A positive inspirational story. Great to see on WRAL. Keep running, Desmond! You will achieve your goals.

  • kmorrevenge Oct 3, 2013

    View quoted thread



    i agree

  • StunGunn Oct 2, 2013

    Desmond - and his mom - are such an inspiration. Great story.

  • FA Cup Soccer: Reading vs. Arsenal

    Today at 12:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Ford City 500 at Bristol

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NBA: New Orleans at Golden State

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Oakland at Kansas City

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Atlanta

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 HD3 The Ticket

  • MLB: Cincinnati at St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 4
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
DET 2
CWS 1
Final
CHC 4
SDP 5
Final
PIT 6
MIL 3
Final
WAS 7
PHI 2
Final
TOR 7
ATL 8
Final
BOS 3
BAL 2
Final
NYM 4
MIA 1
Final
TAM 4
NYY 5
Final
MIN 3
CLE 2
Final
HOU 3
ANA 6
Final
KAN 6
OAK 4
Final
STL 6
CIN 1
Final
LOS 7
COL 3
Final
SEA 1
TEX 3
Final
SFG 0
ARI 9
1:05pm Today
WAS
PHI
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
KAN
OAK
 
9:05pm Tonight
SFG
ARI
 
9:10pm Tonight
LOS
COL
 
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
TEX
 
12:30pm Today
TOR
WAS
 
3:30pm Today
GSW
NOP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIL
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
 
Final
WAS 4
NYI 3
Final
MON 3
OTT 2
Final
NAS 6
CHI 2
Final
VAN 4
CAL 1
3:00pm Today
TAM
DET
 
3:00pm Today
STL
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYR
PIT
 
10:30pm Tonight
ANA
WIN
 
Final
DUR 4
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR