7-year-old Orion Miner has overcome many obstacles in his young life.
At 15 months old, Orion was diagnosed with a condition called Cerebellar Atrophy where his cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for motor control, stopped growing. His mom Londyn was told not to expect him to walk or talk independently. Then at age 6, he was also diagnosed with epilepsy.
Orion, along with the support of his amazing mom and his physical therapy team, has fearlessly refused to accept defeat. Orion conquered the SavageJR course at Savage Race Dallas and brought tears to many eyes as he finished the race.
“Orion discovered his love for running quite by accident,” says Londyn. “His dad and I were watching a video about Team Hoyt and commenting on how inspiring it was for a father to run triathlons with his son. Orion saw the video and said ‘Momma, I want to run,’ and that was all it took. I started running so I could push him in his wheelchair. If that is what he wants then that is what we are going to do.”
Orion’s parents signed him up for SavageJR at Savage Race Dallas. It was to be his birthday mud run, since he would be turning 7 the day after the race. His parents, grandparents, great-grandpa, uncle, younger brother Xander, and cousin MaxLyn were all there to cheer him on. (MaxLyn is the adorable little girl who kissed Orion on the cheek when he finished the race.)
Londyn remembers, “He had an absolute blast at the race. His favorite part of all his runs is always the finish line. Every time he tells me ‘we won, we won!’ it makes me want to cry. He gets so excited about getting t-shirts and medals that he wears them for days. We even started a wall at home of all our bibs. After every race he writes his name on the bib and we pin it up on the bedroom wall.”
Orion’s younger brother Xander has also been diagnosed with the same cerebellar abnormality that Orion has. The physical therapy team that has helped Orion defy limitations and walk and talk has helped Xander as well, and he will be joining Orion next year for the SavageJR race.
Londyn is now pursuing a career in physical therapy because she’s determined to make the same difference for other families that their physical therapy team has made in their lives. “Now, at 7 years old, Orion is walking with assistance and talking like a pro. He is strong, loving, kind, funny, and determined. Orion and Xander have inspired me to never give up and never stop trying to reach something I want. They are simply the biggest blessing I have even been granted.”
Orion, we’re so proud to have you, your mom, and your brother in the Savage family. Thanks for inspiring us with your fearlessness. We’ll see you next time!