High School Student with Cerebral Palsy Competes in Triathlon
Thanks to three teachers, a high school sophomore with cerebral palsy recently completed a triathlon consisting of a 500-meter swim, a 12.4-mile bike ride, and a 3.1-mile run, according to mlive.com. Bradley Langemaat’s triathalon class teacher pulled him in a boat during the swim, his English teacher pulled him in a bike trailer during the ride, and another teacher pushed him in a stroller during the run.
“He was laughing when they passed people,” Bradley’s father, Brent, told the media. “He thought it was funny.”
Bradley’s family, classmates, and triathalon teacher, Derek Warner, encouraged him to participate. Bradley’s involvement was “the highlight of everything I’ve ever done with Grand Haven High School and teaching,” Warner said.
At home, Bradley can move around without assistance, but, otherwise, he needs a wheelchair. As is typical of cerebral palsy patients, his motor skills and speech are also affected.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with exaggerated reflexes or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteadiness of walking, or some combination of these.”
WebMD states that the cause of cerebral palsy cannot always be determined, but it can be caused by:
- Premature birth;
- Failure to get the necessary amount of blood, oxygen, or other nutrients before or during delivery;
- A serious head injury or infection that affects the brain, such as meningitis; or