When 7-year-old Zek Currey crossed the finish line at Races for all Paces on May 14, he gave a high five to an animated bear and announced gleefully, “I won! I won!”
Indeed he did. Zek, born at 4 pounds, deaf and with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus that causes calcification of areas of the brain, has defied the odds.
When he wasn’t progressing as an infant, his adoptive parents, Kristina Anderson Currey and Michael Currey, learned he also had cerebral palsy. “We were told ‘maybe he’d walk, maybe he wouldn’t,’” Kristina said, “We never let any of his health issues stop him.” He wears glasses and hearing aids and is learning to use sign language. In the fall he’ll be in a hearing-impaired class in Neoga schools.
Today he uses a walker and sometimes crutches to get around. “He’s doing so much more than we ever thought he would do. If seven years ago someone had told us he’d participate in Races for All Paces, we’d say, ‘no way.’ When he crossed the finish line, we were so proud of him,” Kristina said.
Zek was visiting his physical therapist at Sarah Bush Lincoln when he first saw an advertisement for Races for all Paces, and later saw a billboard advertising the event. He asked his mom if he could participate, and after consulting with his physical therapist, he was registered.
“He was so excited for the day to arrive, and despite the cooler-than-normal weather conditions, Zek took off on the one-mile fun run/walk with the group of other participants. With braces stretching up to his knees, he relied on his walker to finish the course.
With his first one-mile event under his belt, he already has plans for next year.