Rock 'n' roll participant with rare disease finds hope in running

- Kyle Gagner and his son, Levi, have a special bond, one that is cemented tighter with every step they take together.

"We're the kind of folks that don't like to sit back and say why we can't do things. We like to try the best we can with what we're given so we go for it, and we did," said Gagner

Gagner, his wife Melissa, and Pastor Bill Crosby came to Phoenix from Cavalier, North Dakota so Gagner could run the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon with his three-year-old.

"He really enjoys running. It's fun to be their running partner and to listen to them banter back and forth," said Crosby.

"Levi has what's called LMNACND. It's a type of congenital muscular dystrophy and all congenital means is at birth, so it's something he was born with and showed up right away," said Melissa Gagner.

Levi is one of only 40 kids in the world diagnosed with this rare disease.

"His legs seem to function just fine. He can't lift his arms up on his own. He can't sit up on his own. He cannot stand or walk, he has no head control either," said Gagner. 

"Where there's a will there's a way. And with Levi, there is a will so we always find a way," said his mom.

Running gives Levi a way to experience life, and a way to show others there are plenty of ways to live it.

"We found that Levi inspires a lot of folks that we never really intended to inspire or thought that he would inspire and so we want folks to understand there's always hope," said Gagner.

Kyle and Levi crossed the finish line in one hour and 42 minutes.

For more information on Levi's Hope Foundation, please visit www.levishope.com.


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