If every picture tells a story, the tale of the photo to the left would go something like this…”Kyle and Brent Pease, a pair of brothers from Atlanta, Georgia traveled north to the Big Apple to compete in the 2015 New York City Marathon. What makes their story unique is that Kyle was born thirty years ago with Cerebral Palsy and he will be pushed all 26.2 miles by his older brother, Brent.”
We’ve heard the story before and yet it never gets old. Disabled inspiration in a wheelchair pushed by Dad, Mom, brother, sister, friend so they are able to enjoy the experience of athletic competition. Forever inspirational and never gets old. But a funny thing happened on the way to the history book, when the Pease Brother’s right rear tire disintegrated at mile 12.
For many that would mark the end of the day and though they wouldn’t be able to finish what they had set out to, they had a pretty good excuse to hide behind. “Couldn’t do it. My wheel broke.” The Pease Brothers however live by the motto, “Where There’s a Wheel, There’s a Way” and despite the fact that they were minus one, they still found a way.
Instead of packing it up and calling it a day, they decided to find a way to carry on. Their reinvented journey began with Brent carrying Kyle up the bridge as hoped to “simply” walk the remaining half marathon. They quickly realized that this would be too much for mere mortals, so they detoured to the medical tent at mile 12.5 to formulate their plan to continue and finish.
The NYPD escorted them to a local bike shop, who worked with the medical staff to rig up a solution to their slight engineering dilemma. The left axle was tied to Brent’s shoulder in an effort to steady the chair and allow him to push on the two remaining wheels. Merely a half mile in, however, they realized it was impossible to turn and steady the chair.
When it seemed their day had come to a heroic end, a fellow runner named Amy from Maryland decided to forfeit her finishing time and grabbed the left side of the chair to offset a portion of the weight, while moving the wheel in the direction they needed to go. After 1.5 miles, another new friend named Cameron from NYC saw the light and joined taking the left side with Amy shifting to the right.
“The three of us shouldered the weight and helped cover the remaining miles together”, explains Brent, who with Kyle in tow has twice completed the 140.6 mile Ironman event. “With Kyle’s drive to continue, we found that even without a wheel, there’s still a way”.
Kyle and Brent are the founders of The Kyle Pease Foundation, whose mission is to create awareness and raise funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs through sports.
Over the final half marathon, their time may have slowed from an average of 8:00 per mile to nearly 18:00 per mile, but the number of supporters who cheered them on increased immeasurably. Thousands of onlookers shouted words of encouragement and looked on in disbelief as Brent, Amy and Cameron provided the legs while Kyle provided the heart for the two-wheeled quartet.
Limping along up First Avenue, left on 138th Street and hobbling down Fifth Avenue, The Pease Brothers crossed the finish line in 7:25:31, a time they would have likely been disappointed with on any other day, but not today.
And as someone wisely pointed out…Where there is NO wheel. There is still a way!”
To order Kyle’s new children’s book, visit “Where There’s a Wheel, There’s a Way“