BRADENTO, FLA. (KFDX/KJTL) – David Randall was completely healthy, serving in the military, but he says two years into his service something was off.
“I had a little bit of back pain, didn’t think too much about it, and then I noticed I’d be playing basketball or running, and my legs would kind of give out at times,” Randall said.
Things got worse, so he got a MRI.
“I just remember the doctor coming in and telling me I had tumors all over my brain and spinal cord,” Randall said.
He found out he has VHL disease, a super rare condition that causes tumors and cysts to grow in your body. His dad had it and so does his brother.
“He has kids; I don’t have any kids; I didn’t wanna take a chance,” Randall said. “It’s a 50% chance a kid would inherit the gene.”
Randall’s had four spinal cord and five brain surgeries over the last two decades. A 2001 procedure left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“You lose that independence; I used to golf; I couldn’t do that anymore,” Randall said, but he found a new passion.
“I bought a handcycle in 2004, just to kind of stay in shape, and then I actually entered my first race in the Detroit marathon in like 2005. I was hooked,” Randall said.
He’s been to five world championships and won a world title in 2018, not to mention 12 national titles, too. But he’s nowhere near finished.
“It’s my job so, I love it,” Randall said. “I’ve traveled all over the world for it and I’m hoping to make Tokyo this next Summer.”
Attorney Carl Reynolds wants to help him get there, giving Randall A Helping Hand.
“You’re such an inspiration; again, thank you for your service and serving our country,” Reynolds said.
And as for his health, Randall said he’s taking it one day, one race at a time.