'Remarkable Men' honored in Durham for overcoming disabilities
Posted January 26
Durham, N.C. — Two Durham men who have overcome many obstacles to achieve greatness in athletics received a special honor Thursday night, when they were named Remarkable Men.
Both men are para-athletes- one is a decorated war hero and the other is a para-Olympiad.
From a very early age, Desmond Jackson, 17, was born to run, despite the fact that one of his legs was amputated for health reasons when he was born.
“I love to compete, really. That’s the big thing. I love the fact that we work so hard and then it all pays off at the end,” Jackson said
Jackson was one of the Remarkable Men honored by the Durham County Public Health Department for his accomplishments on and off the track. He competed in the Paralympic games last year in Rio.
The other honoree was a man who knows what Jackson’s challenges are as a para-athlete. Master Sgt. Cedric King lost both of his legs in combat, but he says his spirit was strengthened and he is inspired by Jackson.
“I’ve only had this obstacle for four-and-a-half years so, to me, I’m looking at him in awe. The mental attitude that he has, it’s incredible,” King said.
Jackson said he still has more track and field goals to achieve. He considers being an amputee and a para-athlete an opportunity rather than a disability. He sees every accomplishment as a blessing, especially the honor as a Remarkable Man.
“Just to be representing Durham in my journeys, I really appreciate this opportunity to be honored by Durham,” Jackson said.
King, who was placed in a medically induced coma following his accident in 2012, is training for an upcoming marathon and Jackson is training for the World Games in London next summer.