The nonprofit Ainsleys Angels coordinates 19 teams of veteran runners who push disabled participants into special wheelchairs called tanks.
Houston — The Chevron Houston Marathon is this Sunday. Approximately 27,000 participants are expected, including 113 disabled athletes and their guides.
New this year, the nonprofit Ainsleys Angels is coordinating 19 teams of veteran runners who will push disabled participants into special wheelchairs called tanks.
Cary Davidson, 16, is ready to run her first marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon.
“She loves the wind in her face. She loves movement and motion,” said her mother, Heather Davidson.
Heather was devastated when her baby was diagnosed with brain development disorders.
“Doctors told me she probably wouldn’t be able to walk or talk,” she said.
Today Kaylee is able to walk and wants someone to help her. So how was she able to participate in the marathon?Her Ainsley’s Angels, a non-profit organization, pairs runners with disabled participants and teams her special tricycle for the race. is rented to
Landi Orza pushes tanks about once a month.
“It’s unusual to be interested in something bigger than yourself,” Orza said. “When it comes to running, it’s usually a very idiosyncratic and selfish sport.”
A full-time bakery owner, Randy has been in business for 20 years.
“My favorite is getting the kids out of the tank when they can and letting them cross the finish line themselves.”
But Kaley doesn’t speak the language, so how do we know if she likes being in a wheelchair?
“She would actually rock the tank back and forth and as a signal or communication, ‘Go faster! Go faster!'” her mom explained.
We witnessed it firsthand. Kayleigh, who had been silent, began to speak as she began to roll. When her chariot stopped, she began to shake violently. Her mother said Kaley had sensory issues with her and her movements calmed her down.
After all, Kaley has competed in many races, from 10Ks to half marathons. A rack of race medals hangs in her bedroom.
To her mother, Kaley’s greatest achievement is the inspiration she’s gotten from others.
“What she teaches about love and compassion and understanding,” Heather said. “She’s fulfilling her purpose in life.”
It’s a lesson not about racing, it’s about traveling.