Plans were for Pat Rummerfield to push Missy Jenkins around the Los Angeles Marathon course Sunday in her wheelchair, but her doctor said no, the race would be too much for her physically.
So they found another way. Jenkins will be at the race.
And she will walk the final quarter-mile.
Jenkins was one of eight people shot in a prayer-group session before class at Heath High in West Paducah, Ky., on Dec. 1, 1997. Michael Carneal received a sentence of 25 years to life for killing three of the students and wounding five others, including Jenkins, now 18.
She was paralyzed from the waist down by the bullet and was later treated by Roy Douglas, a Torrance doctor who has developed a brace that enables patients like Jenkins to walk.
“I knew I was going to walk again,” she says. “I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but I knew I would.”
A senior, she has been practicing by walking around Heath High after classes, a few minutes a day. But this is different.
“I’m probably going to be nervous,” she says. “I’ve never walked in front of an audience.”