Log Cabin Democrat
Five consumers at Independent Living Services will participate in the upcoming Little Rock Marathon Sunday with the help of FBI agent Heath White.
White’s story of learning to accept his daughter’s Down syndrome diagnosis was featured on ESPN last October.
White's involvement in competitive running began as a way to cope with his daughter’s diagnosis, but it transformed into a way to raise Down syndrome awareness.
Now that Paisley, 6, runs on her own, White wants to give the experience of running a marathon to others with disabilities.
Maria Hoskins, a colleague and ILS board member, has a daughter with intellectual disabilities.
White approached Hoskins with the idea of including her daughter and other ILS consumers in the Little Rock Marathon.
With White’s help, five runners will be positioned at five different relay points of the race.
White will push them in an advanced mobility stroller, switching riders at designated mile markers.
All runners will meet and cross the finish line at the same time.
Race participants include Trevion Stephens, Blake Hensley, Christina Brown, Nikki Atkins and Jerome Riley.
“I’ve never been in a marathon before but I bet it’s like flying in a helicopter,” said Jerome Riley. “It’s like, bam, you ran in a marathon!”
ILS is a nonprofit agency whose purpose is to assist in making a better life possible for over 250 people with intellectual disabilities in Central Arkansas.
Related video: ESPN feature on Heath White