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

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  • Toddler10-21 Oct 3, 12:12 p.m.

    Good luck Desmond. Great story!!

  • westernwake1 Oct 3, 8:50 a.m.

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

  • kmorrevenge Oct 3, 8:49 a.m.

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

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    i agree

  • Gunnstigator Oct 2, 7:39 p.m.

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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1
 
Final
TAM 4
BOS 3
Final
MIA 9
NYM 6
Final
ATL 0
PHI 7
Final
BAL 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 5
PIT 4
Final
CHC 4
MIL 2
Final
CLE 1
DET 12
Final
OAK 6
SEA 1
Final
SDP 3
ARI 1
Final
COL 10
SFG 9
Final
KAN 4
TEX 3
Final
LOS 4
WAS 6
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
DET
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
MIL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
ANA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
PIT
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
WAS
 
Final
LOU 31
MIAMI 13
Final
DUR 5
NOR 1