By AP Tennis reporter Mark Gertz in Washington (Photo: AP)Associated PressStaff WriterMatt Sullivan, AP Tennis WriterStaff WriterLOUISVILLE, Ky.
(AP) — The Kentucky Derby is about to kick off and the winner will walk away with the most prestigious trophy in sports, but for a little girl who just got a second chance to win, she’s not going to let a little obstacle stop her.
She is about 1 year old.
Jenna Grier of Newnan, Kentucky, has the rare condition called congenital hypoglycemia.
Her father, Eric Grier, is a retired Kentucky Derby winner and a local celebrity who makes a regular appearance on TV.
Grier has a rare form of congenital hyperglycemia that causes the body to store glucose as it burns fat.
It is a condition that causes hypoglycemic episodes in the form of fainting spells or seizures.
The symptoms include a dry mouth, sweating and weakness in one or both legs.
It affects more than a million children, adults and teens worldwide, and most die within two years.
But Jenna Grier’s condition is different than other hypoglycaemic babies, because she has no other signs of the disease.
She is healthy and is not losing her memory, which means she has an extra year to live.
Jenna’s dad is hoping her condition will inspire other kids to go through the same struggles and that they will have a second shot at winning the Kentucky Derby.
He also said that a lot of other kids who have a similar condition can get into the top 10, so this is an opportunity for them to do it.
“They need to realize, you can still go after it and still be in the top 20 and that’s OK,” Eric Gifer said.
“They can go and they can still have a good year and they’ll get their first big trophy.
A few years ago, Jenna Griers dad, who has been battling the condition since she was 3, had surgery to repair a hole in her hip that would have led to amputation. “
It’s just a matter of making sure you’re not going through the whole thing again.”
A few years ago, Jenna Griers dad, who has been battling the condition since she was 3, had surgery to repair a hole in her hip that would have led to amputation.
He says he’s not sure how long he’ll be able to play the event because the operation will likely take a couple of years.
“We’re not in a rush, we’re just waiting on some test results,” Eric said.
“But it’s just an opportunity to try something new and something new that you’re going for, and it’s really rewarding,” he added.
We’re going there with a positive attitude, and we’re going out with a good attitude.”