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Teen with MS becomes Running Star

She has gone from being one of the slower runners on her high school team to one of the fastest distance runners in the nation, a rise fueled by an improbable motivation.
She has gone from being one of the slower runners on her high school team to one of the fastest distance runners in the nation, a rise fueled by an improbable motivation.

Three years ago, Kayla Montgomery, 18, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an incurable yet treatable disease of the central nervous system.

While Kayla can run long distances without feeling pain in her legs, when she stops, her limbs give out and she collapses. As she crosses the finish line, her coach catches her to keep her from falling.

"I don't feel anything at all," Kayla said in a TODAY segment Wednesday.

"It kind of feels like I'm just kind of floating,” she added. “There’s nothing underneath me.”

Kayla was profiled in Tuesday’s New York Times, in a story that explained that her condition blocks nerve signals from her legs to her brain and describes how her legs gradually go numb as she races yet become uncontrollable when she stops.

At the time of her diagnosis, Kayla was among the slowest runners at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. But she was determined to improve her times, despite her condition.

"Instead of letting it stop me from running, I've used it to motivate me to break records,” she said on TODAY. "This past cross country season I was undefeated by any other North Carolina runner."

Now, she’s one of the nation’s fastest female distance runners, so good that she trains with the boy’s team, according to TODAY, and she receives no special treatment.

Read more: http://www.today.com/health/im-floating-teen-ms-becomes-running-star-2D79321958
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