Category Archives: Stories

Cerebral Palsy is No Match for Traithlete


Competing in a triathlon is never easy, but for Adam Warner it’s an even bigger challenge. As the 27-year-old straps into his modified bike, it’s one of the few times his cerebral palsy takes the back seat.

“Anytime he can be around people, he wants to do it,” Ralph Warner, Adam’s dad explained.

It’s part of the reason Warner enjoys triathlons, and also how he met the women he’ll be competing with on Saturday.

“I actually passed them on the bike course, and I was in awe. I was amazed,” Tonya Clark said.

She’s competed in at least ten triathlons over the last few years, but this will be her first with Warner. Clark will bike with him during the 12.7 mile ride at the 8th Annual Tri Ballantyne. Other athletes from Tri It will do the swimming and riding portion with him.

The training isn’t the only challenge though. Adam is also visually impaired and completely deaf.

I want to learn sign language so I can talk to him. He understands when I need help and know that when I [give him a sign], he’s got to push harder,” Clark explained.

You don’t need words to understand why people are immediately drawn to Warner. He won’t hear the crowds on Saturday, but even as he trains he pumps his arms like he will in the race to get the crowds going.

“That’s what he does,” Ralph said while watching his son on the modified bike.

For Ralph, it’s an opportunity to see his son be part of something that doctors said would never happen.

“We get emotional all the time,” he said.

So do others who meet him, and work with him. As he continues to inspire, one jog, swim and bike ride at a time.

Southwest Airlines Helps Special Needs Teen Celebrate Her 18th Birthday

By Alexa Renee

cerebral palsy

A Roseville teen celebrated a milestone birthday in high fashion, with a little help from Southwest Airlines.

Kellisa Kain spent an entire day flying around the country with her family to celebrate her 18th birthday. Kellisa’s father, Chris Kain, is a frequent flyer with Southwest and decided to plan a special day for his daughter, who loves to travel, according to Kellisa’s blog.

Kellisa and her twin had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a disease which affects identical twins who share a placenta, where one twin is taking more than their share of nutrients and the other is unable to develop or survive.

Kellisa’s twin sister, Kirsten, died shortly after being delivered. Kellisa was given only hours to live but against all odds, was able to celebrate her 18th birthday on May 23. Today, she lives with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but that doesn’t keep her from enjoying life.

Chris linked up with the airline company to plan Kellisa’s birthday travels. The day included eight stops, since her favorite part of plane rides is take-off and landing. During each flight, Kellisa was greeted by Southwest staff and passengers who all pitched in to take selfies with her and sing her “Happy Birthday.” The teen also received high-fives, cards and gifts.

Much to the family’s surprise, during a stop in Orlando, the family was escorted off the plane by a man wearing a tuxedo and were greeted with a fully decorated gate area filled with cheering travelers, according to Kellisa’s blog.

They boarded the plane to find a decorated area, and saw people holding birthday signs on the runway as they made their way back home to the Sacramento International Airport.

The family landed, literally running to a finish line, for the last flight of the day. Lisa, Kellisa’s mother, expressed the significance of her daughter’s milestone birthday in a blog post:

“Eighteen years is a very big deal for her and for us especially considering she is the only one of our natural children that has celebrated a birthday. In general, we keep a pretty positive outlook, but it can be difficult. Over the last 5 years, we have lost 5 of Kellisa’s friends to their disabilities including 1 that passed earlier this month. So we do get a bit emotional and over the top with Kellisa’s birthday because it is a reminder of how lucky we are to have her in our lives.”

College Staff Help Cerebral Palsy Student Complete Marathon

By Samantha Lauren King

Two members of National Star college staff helped a student realize her dream of completing a marathon by pushing her 26 miles in an all-terrain wheelchair.
Bethan Griffiths, a 22-year-old student at the college who has cerebral palsy, wanted to complete the Brighton marathon in memory of her mum Amanda, who died last year of motor neurone disease.

Her cause resonated with college staff, Becky Amor and Andy Woolway, who have both had close family members affected by the disease.

The team of two took turns pushing a £5,000 wheelchair loaned to them especially for the marathon – with Bethan crossing the finish line on foot.

Becky, who is a physiotherapy assistant at National Star, has run 19 marathons since 2012 but admitted running with a wheelchair made this her most challenging.

Bethan has now raised more than £900 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association through the marathon. Speaking of her experience, she said: “Being a part of a marathon is always something that I’ve dreamt of doing but never thought I’d get to do.

“I mentioned it to Becky during a physiotherapy session at National Star. Becky didn’t say I couldn’t do it. Instead she said she would figure out a way we could.”


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