Hewitt-Trussville senior with cerebral palsy breaks barriers in sports world

Published: May. 6, 2016 at 1:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2016 at 4:34 PM CDT
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Collin Lafon. Source: WBRC video
Collin Lafon. Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video
Collin Lafon when he was younger. Source: Family photo
Collin Lafon when he was younger. Source: Family photo

TRUSSVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Hewitt-Trussville senior Collin Lafon is breaking down barriers in the sports world.

The 18-year-old became the first para-athlete to compete in the AHSAA state indoor track meet and will compete again this weekend at the state outdoor meet in Gulf Shores.

Born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition affecting his muscles, coordination, balance, and ability to walk, Collin has been wheelchair bound nearly his whole life.

"It was shocking. He was born at 26 weeks weighing one pound nine ounces. I got pre-eclampsia health syndrome, and they had to take the baby to save the both of us," his mother, Michele Lafon, said.

"When he was one years old, we ran some tests, and the neurologist that actually delivered the news, she said to me, 'Well, of course he has CP, and we don't know if he'll ever walk, he may not this, and he may not that,' and it was devastating," she added.

But Collin isn't letting his condition stop him from living out his dream of playing sports.

"I just want to go out and do what every other kid gets to do, which is compete for their high school," Collin Lafon said.

After moving to Alabama last May, Collin decided to try out for the Hewitt-Trussville track team.

Collin throws shot put, javelin, and discus for the Huskies, all in a specially-made chair, just like the athletes in the paralympics use.

"I just enjoy coming out here on a nice day, and getting a few throws in, it's relaxing, and it lets you get a lot of anger out," Collin Lafon added.

"People can call me an inspiration, but I love playing sports, I love coming out here and throwing, I love playing basketball. At the end of the day, I'm going to find a way to do that," he said.

Collin graduates in May and will throw shot put and play wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois, but his ultimate goal goes beyond college sports.

"My ultimate goal for throwing and for track and field is to be able to get to the (2020) Paralympics and be able to go to Tokyo and represent the USA," Collin said.

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