Many of you have reached out to us in the last few days telling us how inspired you felt by a blind athlete we profiled in a story last week. His name is Jerry Gatton and he doesn't let his lack of vision stop him from running.
“I was doing housework and I heard some running,” Morgan Henry told us.
She backed up the DVR and saw a story about Gatton and his coach Dale Becker.
“The story just really moved me,” she said.
Henry was a lifelong runner, but stopped a few years back when she had cancer.
“When I saw that, I said I have no excuse,” Henry said. “I have both my arms, both my legs. I'm in my right mind. There's no excuse, even if I have to start walking. You have to start somewhere.”
Gatton inspired her, and even though they have never met, she wanted to return the favor by buying him a brand new pair of running shoes.
“When I stopped and rewound it, I was like, ‘Wait, those look like basketball sneakers,’” she said.
At City Sports in D.C.'s Chinatown, assistant manager Alyse Stokes studied the way Gatton ran by watching the FOX 5 video. Of course, she would rather see him in person.
“He's definitely a heel striker, so his heel is the first thing that hits the ground and there's a lot of impact,” said Stokes.
They tried one shoe after another until they settled on a pair of New Balance shoes.
“It's also got a nice breathable upper mix of leather and mesh,” Stokes said.
We called Gatton about the new pair of running shoes.
“Oh, great!” he exclaimed. “What do they look like?”
He told us, “I am excited to take them for a spin.”
Henry heard on the news that Gatton will compete in the Maryland state Special Olympics in June.
“Then he sang ‘Amazing Grace’ at the end,” she said smiling. “That was it. I was done. I had to go get the tissues and then I went online and I watched it again -- over and over and over.”
And all Gatton wants to know is: “How am I going to thank this lady? How am I going to get to thank her?”
We are pretty sure Henry would tell you he already has.
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