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Teen track star with multiple sclerosis defies the odds

Teen Track Star with Multiple Sclerosis Defies the Odds

Kayla Montgomery, 18, is considered one of the fastest distance runners in the country. She trains with the boys' team, and has set multiple records. The 'TODAY' show says she does it all while battling multiple sclerosis.



The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says the disease blocks nerve signals from transmitting information to the brain. In Montgomery's case, this allows her to run at steady speeds that would cause other runners pain. There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis.

'But when she stops, her legs crumble underneath her and her coach needs to catch her to keep her from falling,' 'Today' reports.

Montgomery told WXII she doesn't focus on the MS while she's out there on the track.

'I zone everything out and I just focus on the race ahead of me.'

Montgomery joined her North Carolina school's track team three years ago, shortly after she was diagnosed with M.S.

The New York Times says at the time, she took more than 24 minutes to run a 5-kilometer race, making her one of the slowest runners on the team. Last month, she placed first in state in the 3,200 meter relay, ranking her 21st in the country.

She was even named Gatorade's State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year!

Montgomery's coach had some high praise for the track star saying, 'Kayla has been the toughest of competitors and humblest of victors.'

Throughout the last three years, Montgomery's parents say they've learned to stop underestimating their daughter.

'I'd never thought she'd get this fast, but at this point, I've quit doubting.'

The New York Times also reports Montgomery will be attending Lipscomb University in Tennessee this fall.

Join the discussion

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sportnimportfrank March 06 2014 at 12:07 PM

rock on kayla!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Velocity105 March 06 2014 at 1:08 PM

That's incredible, it's actually a plus for having MS. Maybe it will remain in a less progressive state since she is so physically active.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
janisann1mason March 06 2014 at 12:11 PM

You go girl, show them what you'er made of, YEA YOU!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
seed1161 March 06 2014 at 12:10 PM

RIGHT ON !
Kayla, I wish more people would have the courage that you have. I have known a few people that lived with M S & it makes life a challenge, but you seem to have the strength that it takes to over come the obstacles that come with M S. I wish you the best. Good luck. God Bless you and your family

Flag Reply +3 rate up
oujoou March 06 2014 at 3:00 PM

Holy crap. Wow. Multiple Sclerosis. A great runner. That is just too amazing to believe. Carolina is too far to travel to watch her run :( . . .alTHOUGH . . . Dartmouth has a great runner right now. She missed the London games by like .01 seconds. Come here! :)

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shadolade March 06 2014 at 11:26 AM

God Bless you Kayla. So proud of you and your faith to keep on fighting this disease. You have many praying for you and you certainly will have my prayers added for your courage!!!!!

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Kate March 06 2014 at 11:15 AM

Good for her! It's really heartening to hear about her, because MS is a devastating disease. A friend of mine was diagnosed about 10 years ago, when she was young too, but nothing like as young as Ms. Montgomery. I hope she can keep it up for a long time to come.

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tobiashny March 06 2014 at 2:44 PM

What a beautiful young lady and may our heavenly father continure to give her the strength and courage to fight MS. She is an inspiration to all who may be suffering from a disease or lost a limb. thank you Montgomery for never giving up and never let others tell you that it cannot be done or you should not being doing what you love most. They do not walk in your shoes and do not understand how important it is to you to show that you are not different. I pray to that one day they will find a cure for MS. Hugs and love to you and your family. May our good lord keep on blessing you with the will to fight this disease and give you the strength you need.

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AGENT SEISE March 06 2014 at 9:28 AM

Kayla you are truly an inspiration, Please be careful don't over do it! I wish you the best in your future!
:)

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cgssnavickas March 06 2014 at 7:15 PM

My wish is for her to continue her courageous battle and win it.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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