"Rafael was born 4 months premature. The odds were stacked against him tremendously from the very start."
Rafael Reyes is as energetic as any 4-year-old...
And he doesn't let the effects of cerebral palsy hold him back.
"Even when I first met him, he had this smile on his face."
He was born ahead of his time, weighing barely 2 lbs.
Sunday, he will accomplish something well ahead of his time.
Rafael's speech hasn't quite developed.
He uses signs to answer... Tapping his chest for "yes."
"We going to go on a race? You excited? You want to go fast?"
Rafael repeatedly taps his chest.
Dr. Adam Gorra is a surgeon at Children's Hospital and a marathon runner.
He'll push Rafael in his wheelchair for 13.1 miles in Sunday's Two Cities Marathon and Half.
Not to worry... Rafael can handle it.
His wheelchair is equipped to sustain the rigors of the course.
Rafael and Dr. Gorra are doing the race to show just what the Adaptive Sports Program at Children's Hospital can do.
It not only provides free recreational and athletic experiences for those with disabilities to age 21... It inspires them.
"These are the kind of people that are going to inspire other young people to get out there and believe in themselves."
It's a unique opportunity for Rafael, but it could create an opportunity for others.
The Two Cities Marathon and Half could see a wheelchair division in the future.
"So in a lot of ways, he's really going out there in uncharted waters and defying the odds which he's done from the start. So it all kind of fits with who Rafael is."
You'll be able to watch Dr. Gorra and Rafael, as well as your participating family and friends, cross the finish line this Sunday.
If not in person, then live on our Weather Plus channel starting at 7:00 a.m.
If you are running, the Two Cities Race Expo happens Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and again on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno.