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Matthew Taylor, the boy I wrote about who once was immobilized by Cerebral Palsy and muscle spasticity, last week accomplished his greatest feat yet – thanks to an implanted drug pump made by Medtronic.
The 16-year-old Florida student finished the Marine Corps Marathon outside of Washington D.C. His time was 5 hours, 46 minutes. For a kid who once faced a future in a wheelchair, his time was irrelevant to the fact of his accomplishment. He finished.
Still, Matthew expected more.
“It wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to do it in five hours,” Kim Taylor said of her son.
Matthew had been training all summer for the 26.2-mile race, eventually getting up to running a 20-mile distance with the steady help of his high school cross country and track coach. But he kind of hit a wall there, his mom said.
“He said, ‘I don’t know where coach thinks the other six miles is going to come from,’” Kim Taylor said.
During the race on Oct. 27, which Matthew ran with coach Tim Young, the teen hit a bit of a wall again – at about the 20-mile mark. They stopped and Young stretched him. He was able to resume and finish without blisters or soreness.
Not only did Kim Taylor’s Facebook blow up with congratulations from family and friends, she had a giddy teenager with a long memory who wanted her to fulfill a promise. Three years ago, when he first started running, Matthew said to Kim: “If I ever run a marathon Mom, can I get a tattoo?”
Last Tuesday, he got “26.2” tattooed on the inside of his right ankle, the leg affected by his Cerebral Palsy.