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Special needs runner is the heart and soul of Fresno's run community

Kyle with his marathon training partner, Robby Lewis.

There's a saying - "If you want to change your body, exercise. If you want to change your life, become a runner." Running has more than changed the life of local inspiration Kyle Grossman.

Kyle was born premature - about a month early, weighing only four pounds. As a toddler, he couldn't see very well and his muscles weren't developing. Kyle couldn't pick up or hold anything. Doctors mentioned autism or asperberger's, but after enduring a lot of testing, Kyle's parents decided it didn't matter what the title was. They would treat each symptom as it came and help their son live as normal a life as possible.

Kyle had multiple eye surgeries and went to years of physical therapy and speech therapy.

As a student at Fort Washington elementary, Kastner junior high and Clovis West high school, Kyle ran on the cross country and track teams. It was very difficult for him, and even in seventh grade, his coach didn't think it would be possible for him to run on the team. But Kyle kept at it, kept practicing, until he was a varsity athlete.

Now 23, Kyle keeps getting faster and faster. He's regularly a top finisher at Fresno 5k and 10k races, and completed his first marathon in November. Kyle also works at Fleet Feet Sports one day a week, and is the most dedicated member of several running clubs in Fresno, where he is adored by his running partners.

As family friend and local running fan Don Gregory put it, "Sometimes you see these Disney movies, where they show anything is possible. But people think, that doesn't happen in real life. Well, it happens in real life. Look at Kyle."

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