Sunday, March 8, 2020
Jamal Hill Heading To Newport Beach
Jamal Hill of Inglewood, California struggles with the degenerative disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth - but not much else.
The personable aquapreneur is a member of the USA Paralympic Swim Team and is looking forward to competing in the 2020 Tokyo and 2024 Paris Paralympic Games despite living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which is an inherited disorder that causes nerve damage in his arms and legs.
The disease results in smaller, weaker muscles, a loss of sensation and muscle contractions, and difficulty walking.
In Hill's case, it significantly reduces the mobility in his legs where his motor function stops at his knee caps and his motor function in his arms is impacted.
“[The disease] runs in my family,” Hill explained. “It affects my mom a little bit. It affects my uncles pretty heavily.
Essentially my motor neurons in my outer extremities, from my elbow to my fingertips and from my kneecaps all the way to my toes gives me a lot of problems.”
But his overwhelming positive nature has enabled him to succeed in a sport he could have easily quit many times - and filmmaker John Duarte made an inspirational short documentary film about him called Swim Up Hill.
Swim Up Hill was recently accepted to the 2020 Newport Beach Film Festival.
Duarte talked about Hill, "Jamal has blazed through boundaries.
Once fully paralyzed from the neck down, and now a top ranked swimmer, he teaches us that nothing - and no one - can put a limit on his ambition if he doesn’t impose one on himself. As soon as I met Jamal, I knew I had to document his journey."
Hill won a silver medal at the 2019 Para Pan American Games in Lima, Peru with a lifetime best. "He just keeps getting better and better under the tutelage of coach Wilma Wong. "Jamal has a passion - for swimming, for sharing his passion, for mentoring others - has is so uncommon. It is great to see him succeed both in his commercial ventures and in the water," said Steven Munatones who taught Hill how to use KAATSU in his training.
Hill is happy with his progress using KAATSU, "The [KAATSU] technology has been so integral in my growth since we first met almost two years ago."
Coach Wong describes how he warms up with KAATSU on the pool deck for his races - since he becomes paralyzed once his core body temperature increases too much. "Sometimes, he cannot even climb out of the pool," said Wong with respect and compassion.
"In Tokyo, I think there will be gold at the end of his Olympic rainbow," predicted Munatones.
For more information on Swimming Up Hill, visit www.swimuphill.com and @swimminguphill.
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