Blazing A Trail


POSTED: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 7:09am

Thriteen year-old New York teens makes big strides as part of the middle school cross country team. Justin Granit reports.

(WHEC) What started as a hobby has transformed into an avenue of hope for a 13-year-old boy.

Luke Fortner has been running cross country for three years, competitively for the first time this September with the Fairport seventh and eighth grade team.

The difference for Luke, he can't see what lies ahead.

Mike Fortner, Luke's father, said, "I would give $1 million to get inside of his head, just to see what he sees, so I can experience what he sees."

Born a twin three months premature, Luke was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity, a form of legal blindness.

To run, to compete, to be the first blind runner in the district, his eyes need the eyes of his coach, Jackie McAlpin.

She is a physical education teacher in Fairport.

She had never ran or coached cross country until now.

Using a two-foot tether made out of t-shirts, Jackie is Luke's guide out on the course.

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