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Local runner shows his speed, determination

Elijah, 11, fights epilepsy every day of life and has since his first episode and diagnosis as a 6-year-old Pike resident. His epilepsy is what is called ‘medication resistant’ which makes his seizures extremely hard to treat. Despite the struggles epilepsy causes, his neurologists gave him permission to play soccer, basketball and run. Elijah is going into the fifth grade at Pike elementary and decided last year to be on the Trailblazers running club. The club meets once a week, and it was as a fourth grader that Elijah discovered his love for running at the weekly practices. ’As soon as school got out for the summer, he was begging me to look for races because he just loved to run,’ said his mom Emily Meadows. ‘I saw that the Peachtree Road race would be divided so kids ran Friday and adults ran Saturday. It was a perfect first race for him to try and see if he really liked it. The morning of, he was full of emotions, but overall, simple excitement had set in. Elijah ran the mile in 7:05, which we thought was pretty amazing. He came in second for his age group for males and it was just a great day.’ In addition to finding his talent in running, Elijah recently learned to ride his bike with the help of friends and local teens. Having been diagnosed with epilepsy and having regular seizures for the past five years, he was unable to do a lot of ‘˜normal’ kid activities. His older brother Noah will be 14 in September and he has shown extra support for Elijah over the years and has helped save his life multiple times when he’s started having seizures. He will start eighth grade at Pike County Middle School this fall where he takes honors classes, is on the Principal’s Leadership Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a representative for his class as a Portrait of a Graduate. He enjoys playing soccer, refereeing soccer, youth ministry activities, swimming, and playing with with his brother. ’Elijah has been very sick, in and out of the hospital over the last several years, but he doesn’t want epilepsy to define him. He wants to be a normal kid, but fast like lightning,’ said Emily. ‘Elijah and his whole family want to thank Pike County Elementary school for training and working with him to make him a better runner in the making.’

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