A young African-American who has been diagnosed with a tough brain condition has graduated from high school despite his health challenges. He was awarded a scholarship to the university for his determination.
Jackson Minter, a Houston Athlete was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the young age of 13. While in intermediate (nursery) school, Jackson had numbness in his face and tingling in his fingers and toes, it was after he complained that he got diagnosed.
“I still wasn’t totally grasping what it did and how dangerous it was, at first, I didn’t understand how rare it was for a young African-American,” he recalled.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, or balance. It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.
His diagnosis is a very rare condition he’s probably one of just 10,000 patients worldwide. An assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Neurology at Texas Children’s Hospital who has been treating Jackson for years, Dr. Shukla Minita said The typical patient with the condition is someone who’s older, and it’s usually a female
Dr. Shukla credited Jackson and his family for the early detection of his MS symptoms. “The first thing I say to my patients is: we can’t cure it, but we can definitely manage it and definitely make it to where you live a pretty much close to normal life,” Dr. Shukla pointed out.
Despite his condition, Jackson did not allow it to define his academic and athletic career, he said is not only willing to work out but he is excited to just keep going. “You only live once, and you only get certain opportunities one time,” Jackson said.
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He was awarded a scholarship to West Virginia State University in the United States where he will continuing his track running.
For me to be here now feels great,” Jackson said, smiling. “I didn’t let anybody tell me I couldn’t, and I didn’t let anything tell me I couldn’t. I’m living proof that if you keep on going, you can get where you want to go.”
Jackson said his motivation is to keep going regardless of the hurdles or the heat in front of him.