LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Two weeks after Misty Diaz was born, doctors diagnosed her with the most serious form of spina bifida and told her parents she would not be able to walk or even feed herself on her own.
Not only is she able to do all that and much more, the triathlete has broken records and won more than 130 medals.
The 30-year-old, who has had 28 surgeries, is a four-time world champion, having competed in obstacle-endurance competitions called Spartan Races.
Contestants in those races have to climb walls, throw spears and even carry sandbags for miles at a time.
Last weekend, Diaz finished her race in just 30 minutes, a feat now being considered for entry into Guinness World Records.
“It’s just my focal point is getting to that finish line. It’s not me having to grab my crutches, me having to explain to somebody, me having to be stared at. I’m looked at in a different light,” Diaz said.
The Long Beach woman is 4-foot-8 and weighs 80 pounds.
She has had her fair share of bullying, even as an adult.
She now speaks around the world to raise awareness about spina bifida.
During her races, she invites children diagnosed with the birth defect to cheer her on in hopes of sending a message that anything is possible.
Diaz leaves for Lake Tahoe on Thursday to compete in the Spartan World Championships in which she will have to climb 9,000 feet and compete in 30 obstacles.