FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – Before Noah Malone was a sprint champion at the Tokyo Paralympics, he remembers being a 13-year-old boy trying to cope with difficult news.
His father, Kyle Malone, said on his first day of eighth grade that he had vision problems. He went for a routine checkup with the doctor and after a few tests they came back with a diagnosis.
It was Leber’s inherited optic neuropathy. It is an inherited form of vision loss which often results in rapid and permanent vision loss in both eyes.
“I was losing my eyesight and had so many questions on my mind,” Noah recalls. “Like, ‘Will I still be able to run on the track? Will I still be able to read a book? “
As a child he enjoyed several sports, but due to his condition the only sport Noah could compete in was track and field. Still, he still struggled to make adjustments in the first year of managing his new normal. He and his father both recalled times when he was injured because he was less aware of his surroundings while running.
Noah says that although it was difficult he focused all of his energy on improving and with the help of his community and his coaches at Hamilton Southeastern he was able to raise his expectations.
“I think we knew we were on a good footing when he went to HSE in his freshman year and broke some school records,” Kyle said.
In 2018, he discovered the Paralympic Games and decided to try for Team USA.
He made the team in time to compete in the Paralympic Games in Japan and ended up winning one gold and two silver. While there, the kid who once feared he couldn’t read a book, decided to write one of his own.
It’s called Losing Sight, Not Dreams: Thoughts on My Teenage Years. When Noah arrived at Indianapolis International Airport, he was surprised by his family, friends, teammates, coaches and many more who were cheering and chanting “USA”. He called this moment the favorite, from his experience in Tokyo, apart from stepping on the podium to receive his medals in Japan.
When Noah’s dad was asked how he felt welcoming his son and thinking about all he had accomplished, he replied, “He’s our hero. Kyle said. “He is my hero.”
Noah returns to his college career as a student-athlete at Indiana State University.
You can read more about Noah’s new book and follow his journey. in line.