Overcoming Her Disability - 9-Year Old Runner Is Blind - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Overcoming Her Disability - 9-Year Old Runner Is Blind

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

 When you run you have to watch where you step, keep an eye out for cars, and look out for other runners. But, imagine not being able to see anything while you run. 9–year old Heaven Vallejos is blind, but she runs on her elementary school's cross country team.

"Even though she's blind there's just so many times where you don't even know it. She's doing things and just carrying on in every day life," says Heaven's Dad, Frank Vallejos.

Heaven and her twin brother were born pre–mature. They were so tiny her dad says they fit in his hands. However, being born early brought complications that left both Heaven and her brother unable to see.

"That's where the story began right there," adds Frank Vallejos, "Ever since she was a little baby she's just so self determined with everything."

Heaven's determination led her to the Junior Blind Olympics this summer where she played several sports.

"50 yard dash, rowing, shot-put and other stuff," says Heaven, "I got four silver medals in shot-put and the 50–yard dash."

Once school started Heaven told her dad she wanted to put on a track uniform. Running cross country on her school's track team led Heaven to Norman Alston, her coach and her eyes.

"It took about a couple of days to learn each other and to know what our codes are," says Norman Alston, "We had to get her running straight and things like that without having to run into a fence."

Alston runs every race with Heaven guiding her so she can cross the finish line. Being on the track team has made Heaven's hard work an inspiration for everyone around her.

"I've become more courageous and she's helped me personally. I now know there's more to life than just what we take for granted," adds Alston.

Heaven has five more track meets this year. She's also going to start training next week for a big race in Sacramento. She's going to run a two mile "Junior Blind Foundation" race.

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