Mar 13, 2010 10:00 PM by Jessica Michaels

Girl with Cerebral Palsy crosses finish line

For many, the St. Patrick's Day 5k marks the beginning of racing season. For one Cheyenne Mountain Elementary School sixth grader it marks the end of a long, difficult journey.

Mackenzie Maher was born with Cerebral Palsy. Last year, while in Mrs. Cumming's class at CME, she spent two months in double leg casts. In order to motivate her to get through that rough period her teacher made her a promise.

"I promised that if she could walk, and walk enough to get through a finish line, the we were gonna run a 5k together," recalls Mrs. Cumming.

So, about a month ago Mackenzie walked her way into her old fifth grade room and said she was ready. At first Mrs. Cumming didn't remember the challenge. Mackenzie was quick to reminder her.

"She said, you know, we are going to cross the finish line together."

After a year of hard work, Mackenzie and Mrs. Cumming ran their 5k on March 13, 2010. Just before the finish line, the brave sixth grader climbed out of her jogger and walked the rest of the way with her pink cane.

Fighting back tears, Mrs. Cumming exclaims her pride. " I want to see her walk across the stage when she gets her diploma. I want to see her get her diploma from college as well. Whatever she wants to do, they sky is the limit for her."

For Mackenzie, the day was about keeping a promise to herself. It was also about proving to the world that she can do anything.

"With a little determination, and with God on your side, you can do anything," she says with a smile.


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