When Jerry Sersen was four years old, he was hit by a car. A couple years later, he developed partial paralysis in his legs. He went through several years of testing and never received a diagnosis. Doctors told him he’d be in a wheelchair by the time he was a teenager. Well, he’s miraculously beaten the odds and, this month, will be walking in his first 5K at the Baltimore Running Festival. “By the grace of God, I’ve strived to keep myself active and healthy,” he says. “I’m 58 and still going strong.” Sersen, of Joppatowne, has someone else to thank—the team at Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) where he started therapy in 2008. “My hamstrings in my legs are as tight as a banjo cord,” Sersen says. “I now have more flexibility and strength.” Sersen has picked up his regimen a bit since he heard that Kennedy Krieger is putting together a team of patients to participate in the race. He works with Dr. Albert Recio and therapist Nia Wallace-Clennon two days a week and spends three days at the gym. “I wondered if I could do a 5K and my therapist said, if I start training, there’s a good possibility,” he says. “My entire life I woke up wondering if I was going to be able to walk another day. I don’t take it for granted.”
A man who was told he could never walk tackles a 5K.
Issue date: October, 2012