Reporting Bill Shields
NORWOOD (CBS) – Matt Brown, who was paralyzed while playing hockey for Norwood High School, has been told he can not participate in the New York City Marathon. Brown was just 15-years-old when he became a quadriplegic, but that has not kept him down.
Brown has teamed up with his hometown friend and veteran Lucas Carr to run several marathons and half-marathons. Two years ago, they ran the Boston Marathon.
They have a specially designed three-wheel chair that Lucas pushes, while Matt provides moral and verbal support.
“We’re one unit,” said Matt, “we may look like a team, but we compete as one unit.”
But when they entered the upcoming New York City Marathon, they were told no, and that the only people allowed were those who could power themselves.
“It’s telling me and Matt no, you can’t do this and that’s discrimination,” said Lucas. “It doesn’t make him less of a person just because I push him.”
Matt’s not giving up hope that the race organizers will change their minds. “I really want to do New York,” he says. “I really do like running.” Indeed the heart of a champion.
The organizers of the marathon sent WBZ-TV the following statement:
“The NYC ING Marathon welcomes the largest and most diverse group of AWD entrants of any major marathon. Given the logistical complexities of hosting more than 45,000 runners on the course each year, there has been a long-standing policy that entrants must participate in the race under their own propulsion. We work very hard to accommodate hundreds of participants overcoming great odds and we are looking at potential options in this case.”