Meet Kiley Lyall, the first runner with autism to be on the cover of Women’s Running magazine. Kiley was selected as the magazine’s cover girl by readers as part of a contest.
Running since the age 8, Kiley, now 24, has a number of races under her belt and has done it all while dealing with autism, mild cerebral palsy and life-threatening seizures. Kiley’s mom, Kathleen, explains in this article, the sport has improved her daughter’s condition. She said, “With everything she struggles with, she realized that running made her body feel so much better. She started talking more, and she started wanting to run more because it made her feel better.”
Kiley is a great inspiration and being on the cover of this magazine is much more than just a photo. As Kathleen said, “We’re hoping that it will open doors for these other athletes that have limited abilities, and just promote what they can do. Everyone thinks that running is this big elite thing – and it does take motivation and determination – but we want to change perception of these individuals and let people know that they’re very, very capable of achieving their goals.”
Lynsey, Community Manager
About 16 years ago, the parents of this young man, named Mike Brannigan, were given their son’s diagnosis of autism and told that he would likely need a special school and a group home. Based off this tough prognosis, his mom was concerned he wouldn’t be able to function in the world.
And now? Well, Mike, at 17 years old and a senior at Northport High School, is one of the best young athletes in the country with a couple hundred (…yes, COUPLE HUNDRED!) colleges knocking at his door!
As NBC News reported, Mike is one of the top 10 high school runners in the U.S. – able to run a mile in 4 minutes, 7 seconds. His mom credits running in helping Mike blossom and also his ability to focus on academics.
Mike’s dream is to continue running, becoming a professional athlete and one day being on the Olympic team. And with his talent, we are sure he’ll do just that – go Mike!
Check out this NBC segment for more on Mike.