Cerebral Palsy Patients Run their First 5K

New Program Challenges Perceptions of Children with Disabilities

Monday, November 02, 2015

A new health and wellness club for patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is allowing children with disabilities ways to accomplish milestones many thought weren’t possible.

Six young men recently completed their first 5K as members of the new Be Well Running Program. The patients face a range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, a condition that affects body movement and muscle coordination.

“Their progress has been remarkable,” said Sean Jameson, clinic coordinator at Cincinnati Children’s. “At our first practice in June, most of the boys struggled to run for five minutes at a time. Today, all members of the group have run at least a 5K (a distance of 3.1 miles) in practice and in a race.”

The athletes trained three days a week over the course of several months with the assistance of physical therapists, support from their parents and volunteer coaches from the community.

“Every single practice, the kids were ready and motivated to participate,” said Katie Hickey Lucas, a physical therapist. “It’s not easy to train for a 5K, but the boys worked together in a team environment to reach their goal. It’s been awesome to see them shine.”

The Be Well Running Program is supported by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Convalescent Hospital Association of Volunteers, Cerebral Palsy Program, and Occupational and Physical Therapy. Donations were also made by several businesses including Bob Roncker's Running Spot and Brooks Running to help offset the cost of racing gear and entry fees for each runner.

Brayden Wright, a cerebral palsy patient, was one of the runners who completed his first 5K race. “I feel better when I’m running,” said Wright. “I learned you shouldn’t ever be afraid if you really want to do something.”

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

Contact Information

Shannon Kettler, 513-636-5218,