Against all odds | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Against all odds

The marathon is not only for those who run 42 km but it’s also for those who walk 2 km with a lot of effort,” said Angad Duggal (23), a cerebral palsy patient and marathon participant.

mumbai Updated: Jan 15, 2010 01:03 IST

The marathon is not only for those who run 42 km but it’s also for those who walk 2 km with a lot of effort,” said Angad Duggal (23), a cerebral palsy patient and marathon participant.

Having suffered a brain injury at birth, Duggal could not walk, speak or even sleep normally. When he turned 12, his family took him to the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, where his parents — mother Tonna (56) and father Gurpinder (62) — learnt how to train and teach special children like Angad, in a year-long course.

In 2004, just two months after he learnt to walk, Angad told his mother, using his special communicator, that he wants to participate in the marathon. “So we started training him by first making him walk using a special walker at home, which we use to strengthen his muscles and posture, then on the lawn, and slowly on a road that has speedbreakers since the marathon track was such,” his mother said. “But for the marathon we need to carry a plastic chair along, so he can sit after walking about 50 metres since his breathing is not stable.”

Like every year, Angad’s entire family, his parents as well as his two older sisters, Gursimran (30) and Satsimran (29), are participating in the race to support him.