Six-year old runner not limited by cerebral palsy, blindness

Cerebral palsy can be a very limiting disease for a child, both mentally and physically. Jayden Nogueras, however, chooses to push past his medical limitations to live his life like a champion.

Despite being legally blind, having received a newborn diagnoses of cerebral palsy, and suffering from septo-optic dysplasia, Jayden has surpassed his list of medical struggles with his list of road races. Jayden will run in a 5-kilometer race as part of the 16th Annual Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon in South Carolina, his fourth 5k race to date. So far, he has completed the long-distance race within 50 minutes.

Father Jose Nogueras, a fellow runner and active Coast Guard member, runs and trains with Jayden, guiding him through the races as an extra pair of eyes and feet, looking out for uneven spots in the road and other potential hazards that Jayden may not see.

Jayden’s vision is classified as 20/200, which means he must be within 20 feet to see what another person will see at 200 feet.

“When he was younger, his doctor said he might not be able to run or jump,” a feat Jayden has clearly passed with flying colors, his father said. “The longer distances put a big smile on his face. He knows he’s different and is not as fast and can’t keep up. But being out there with the thousands of runners puts it to the side. He feels like he’s just like everybody else,” Jose said.

Standing at 42 inches and weighing 38 pounds, Jayden has improved as a runner since his first race. As cerebral palsy effects his ability to control, strengthen, and tone his muscles, developing a smother running gait has been a challenge he met with determination and many hours of training.

When asked about his love of running, Jayden commented that, “Running makes you healthy and strong.”

Jayden became involved in running by riding along with other able-bodied runners in specially designed chairs. Known as myTeam Triumph, the program enables those with disabilities to participate in high endurance events such as 5k’s, triatholons, and marathons through the use of another’s legs. After riding along during a race in 2010, Jayden was inspired to run in a 50-yard race himself.

“Since he started running, his confidence has gone up, and his self esteem and his understanding of goal-setting have improved. He applies what he’s learned running to schoolwork, to tying his shoes, to basic life functions,” said Jayden’s mother Marry.

Jayden now plans to give back, pushing and encouraging another friend and racing partner in his own race.

“It teaches him he’s capable of achieving anything if he tries his best. He was apprehensive about trying to write because of his cerebral palsy and his vision, and now, not too much,” Marry said.

To contact and encourage Jayden in his running, he can be reached via his Facebook.

Children like Jayden face what seem to be insurmountable challenges as a result of cerebral palsy. Just as Jayden is triumphing with his illness, your child may be suffering from the symptoms of cerebral palsy as the result of a birth injury or medical mistake. If you feel your child was injured and has cerebral palsy as a result, or would like to speak to an attorney about your rights, contact the attorneys at the Child Injury Firm today.