Yesterday, Nestle Milo hosted their annual five-kilometer race through the city — the Milothon. Out of the near 10,000 youth that participated in the event, the winner, in my eyes, was a 17-year-old in crutches who finished the race strong.I had the chance to meet Christian because he wanted to take a picture with one of the dance groups that performed for the event, but he didn’t have a camera. Needless to say, I was happy to take some pictures for him and send them to his email address.
What instantly captivated me about Christian was his cheerfulness and warmth, even as he told me about the naysayers along the route. He kept on keeping on despite those who pitied and ridiculed him along the path. They told him that this race wasn’t for people like him. Little did they know that the Milothon hasn’t been his only event. He also finished the Andes Marathon — yes, the full 26.2 miles — even though it took him double the time that it takes a typical runner.Physical disability is common and open here in Huancayo because most people with disabilities resort to begging in the streets. I have a feeling that Christian’s not going to be one of them. It was his social worker who told me that his parents can’t afford the physical therapy sessions he needs; his father drives a taxi and his mother washes others’ laundry. The social worker also mentioned that he has had this problem with his legs since birth; I didn’t ask, but I suspect it’s polio.
Nevertheless, you don’t see Christian asking for pity. He says that he wants to study medicine and I think Huancayo needs more doctors who have his strength, compassion and humility.
Feel Christian’s warmth yourself in this short message he wanted to share with all of you:
How have you shown enthusiasm and perseverance against a recent obstacle in your life?