Emilda Soriano's coach and parents have watched her race many times. But seeing her run – and win medals – is always a powerful experience. They watch her go – and think about how far she’s come.
The teen's family remembers Emilda as a young girl, before she was stricken with a high fever and convulsions, then fell unconscious for many days. When she woke up, Emilda had trouble responding to people and learning letters, colors or numbers. Her parents never gave up trying to get her the help she needs, although they struggle to cover food and basic expenses in their shanty-town in the southern Philippines. They have worked hard to pay for her schooling, including sending her to kindergarten for five years.