Teen Breaks Track Records Despite Using Walking Prosthesis
Erick Aleman, an 11th-grade student at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, California, is creating history in track and field. He runs on a prosthetic leg that is not designed for competitive running. Despite facing challenges that would discourage most athletes, Erick’s passion for running has driven him forward, both at school and events sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation.
Erick was diagnosed with Hanhart Syndrome, a congenital condition that has affected the development of his limbs, particularly impacting his left leg and hand. Meanwhile, his right hand and foot possess a unique asymmetry. However, these physical limitations have not dampened Erick’s athletic spirit. He consistently finishes in the middle of the pack in races against athletes without disabilities and dominates races against fellow para-athletes.
Last July, Erick won several races at the prestigious Paralympic event, Angel City Games, held at the University of Southern California. He bagged first place in the 200m, 400m, and 800m races and came in second in the 100m dash. Erick’s achievements are remarkable, considering he wore a prosthetic leg unsuitable for running. His walking prosthetic does not provide the necessary range of motion and energy return for optimal performance.
Erick’s coach, Garrett Reynolds, and other supporters are working hard to raise funds for a proper running prosthetic leg. Reynolds is confident that this new prosthetic will propel Erick to the top of para-athletics and allow him to compete in national meets. In fact, Erick’s coach believes that he might even break national records with this upgrade.
Erick is known for his strong work ethic and perseverance. He faces challenges head-on without making excuses or complaining. Erick is driven to succeed. Equipping him with a running prosthetic would give Erick the chance to compete at his highest level and level the playing field.
A GoFundMe campaign was started to raise $15,000 for Erick to get a running prosthetic. Surprisingly, the goal has already been exceeded, demonstrating immense support and faith in Erick’s ability. The community is coming together to support this deserving athlete, preparing him to make a lasting impact on the world of track and field.