Father Goes Above and Beyond for Disabled Daughter

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

(FeaturedNews.com) – Navy veteran James Ridgeway has always loved running. During an interview with PEOPLE, he said that to an extent, this passion is driven by his time in the military where you always needed to be in good enough shape so as to “pass your physical tests.” This was what had led him to run a lot of 5K, but he had never thought that he could run a 10K.

While speaking at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Series’ Half Marathon weekend in Las Vegas, where he was part of the 25 years of races celebration, Ridgeway recalled how following his deployment, when he returned home in 2019 he would go for a run with his son. Following the run, his 24-year-old daughter Gaby, who is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair, would be upset about being unable to join them.

Ridgeway said that while she could not formulate the sentences, she had enough words to disclose that she was upset and irritated that they had been going out.

As he recalled, this is what led him to ask her whether she wanted to join them for the runs. When she said yes he started thinking about how he could make that happen.

Gaby was born with a rare genetic condition called Oculocerebrocutaneous (OCC) syndrome, cerebral palsy, and scoliosis. This combination has affected her intellectual and physical abilities as well as her range of functions.

Through Ainsley’s Angels, an organization focused on inclusivity, Ridgeway and his wife found Gaby a wheelchair that could be used during the races. This was the chair that they would use when Ridgeway first started going for a half marathon in order to test his limits.

The pair will put on music on a speaker that Gaby has on the chair and run together in the races.

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