Elijah de Armas – Defyingodds

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Elijah de Armas


Elijah De Armas. Elijah was born on July 11, 2006 at 23 weeks. He weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces and doctors gave him a one percent chance to live, but he proved them wrong. Because Elijah was born so prematurely, he had a brain bleed, which left him with cerebral palsy, but Elijah has never let that stop him.  Since the day Elijah was born, we knew he was going to be a fighter and a very special person. Elijah is now 15 years old and is an athlete, model, and aspiring actor/director. He attends Robert Morgan High School and is in the TV Production magnet program. He is currently working on making his own documentary, which he hopes will inspire more kids and adults with physical challenges to never let that get in their way from living out their dreams. In 2010 Elijah joined the Miracle League of Miami Dade, a baseball team for special needs athletes. Elijah played baseball using his walker to help keep him balanced while running the bases on the field. A year later, Elijah surprised everyone on the field and walked to home base without his walker. Now Elijah fully walks without his walker and hopes to one day be able to run.  In 2016 at a Miracle League game, we met an inspiring and caring woman, Kerry Gruson. Kerry came up to Elijah and asked him if he would like to join her organization, “ThumbsUp International,” and run in a marathon. Elijah quickly responded “yes” and the rest is history. Elijah has now completed over fifty races from 5k’s, marathons, half marathons and triathlons.


Elijah’ story is featured on an award-winning documentary titled “Eli” directed by Julio Mendez where his motivating story along with a great family and support system has served our athletic community as an inspiration to never give up and never be afraid to embark on new adventures.


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