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Kentucky Derby Festival | Cerebral palsy no barrier in 5K

Mar 06, 2017 Matt Clarke

Brenda and Hallie Coffey react as they see family cheering them on during the final stretch of the Anthem 5K on Saturday morning, March 4, 2017. Marty Pearl/Special to The C-J

Arriving nearly four months early and weighing just over a pound, Hallie Coffey’s survival wasn’t assured in the days after her premature birth in Louisville 27 years ago. Months in the infant intensive care unit and a lifetime of therapy and medical care would follow.

But yesterday, Coffey, who has cerebral palsy, reached a new milestone, walking 3.1 miles to complete the annual Anthem 5K Fitness Classic in Louisville, a fundraiser for WHAS Crusade for Children.

Their parents, Brenda and Jimmy Coffey, said their daughter has worked hard to overcome her disability.  As a young child, she used a walker. She also had multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy, they said. Her mother said her determined daughter has come a long way. “Five years ago, she could barely walk several blocks,” Brenda Coffey said. “We’ve been working our way up.”