Father’s commitment to son with cerebral palsy allows son to compete in Miami Marathon

MIAMI (WSVN) - Michael Sayih is a quadriplegic man born with cerebral palsy. Despite his limited motor skills, he has refused to let his disability prevent him from doing the impossible, thanks in part to the constant encouragement and support from his father.

With the assistance of his father, Jim Sayih, a former City of Miami Police officer, current CrossFit owner and fitness fanatic, Michael has competed in numerous marathons, mud runs and even Iron Man competitions.

“Michael says, ‘Yes,’ to every opportunity to getting out, interacting in his community, volunteering and serving others,” explained his father. “This kid is an inspiration to others because of how he thinks and the actions that he takes. A lot of us adults can learn from Michael and serving others.”

The Sayihs’ bond is unlike any other. “I believe he gives me the power to do the ideas,” said Michael, as his father looked down at him proudly. “He’s very special to me. He’s the definition of a true Iron Man.”

Not only does Michael participate in marathons and Iron Man competitions with his father, he also enjoys body building, whitewater rafting and even sky diving.

Sunday morning, the Sayihs defied all physical limitations once again when they competed in the Miami Marathon.

“Running with Michael is priceless,” said his father. “Being the engine for others that are like Michael is also priceless. When you get to be the horsepower for others who can’t propel themselves, that’s true fulfillment.”

His rewarding relationship with his own son inspired him to create Special Compass, a non-profit organization that pairs physically able people who can provide their abilities with those with special needs. “Once they get a taste of this, as well as the runners, who push other participants, who are like Michael, it’s a game-changer,” explained his father.

Thanks to Special Compass, runners with physical disabilities competed in the Miami Marathon for the very first time.

“This will be my first half marathon that I will be able to cross the line with Daron, and I think it’s probably going to be really emotional because it will be my first one,” said Jessica, who, thanks to her running partner Daron, will be able to accomplish the unimaginable. “I don’t think I would have ever been able to do it on my own, so Daron’s going to be helping me cross that finish line. Tears are coming, I can promise you that.”

“When we do these events, we often say, ‘If you can bring the body, we’ll provide the legs,’ explained her running partner Daron of Special Compass. “So, Jessica’s the heart and soul, and on Sunday, at the Miami Marathon, I’m just merely the engine that gets her heart and soul across that finish line.”

For more information on Special Compass, click here.

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