Kegen Gilmet is one of our little warrior Athletes with myTEAM TRIUMPH! The young Captain has been involved with myTEAM TRIUMPH for 4 and a half years and has crossed many finish lines with an unforgettable smile each time.
Kegen began endurance athletics after being inspired by his mother Kate! The mother of 5 amazing boys races in endurance events herself. Kegen loves being able to share this hobby with his mom and brothers. Kegen's brothers are involved in Cross Country and can often be found pushing Kegen in races and while training for events.
"My mom dad and brothers and my favorite Angels pushing me in training runs," says Kegen.
Kegen the Warrior
Kegen was born at just 23 weeks gestation. He weighed less than 2 pounds at birth.
"I thank God every day that he looked over him and I was able to bring him home on day 107 in the NICU," says Kate.
Kegen was diagnosed with spastic diplegic CP from birth. Earlier this year, he was also diagnosed with epilepsy. Over the past few months, his epilepsy has become significantly better but is still part of his daily life. The journey has not always been easy but Kegen has been a warrior and has proved time and time again that he is extraordinary in every way!
What is Cerebral Palsy and how does it affect a person's daily life?
Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person's ability to move. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Cerebral Palsy is lifelong and it affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance.
Kegen is specifically diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy. Although the signs and symptoms of spastic diplegia overlap with other forms of cerebral palsy, the following characteristics are especially common with this subtype:
Stiff or tight leg muscles
Exaggerated reflexes in the legs
Walking on toes
Although difficult at times, Kegen can not be stopped! He just started kindergarten and is using a walker to get from class to class. He is continuing equestrian therapy and physical therapy in hopes of taking unassisted steps in the future and becoming an IRONMAN with myTEAM TRIUMPH!
"I’m so incredibly proud of Kegen and everything he's overcome and proved thus far. I can’t wait for the moment he is able to take your first few steps unassisted."
Crossing Finish Lines
Through the 4 and half years that Kegen has been an athlete with myTEAM TRIUMPH, he has competed in many 5Ks, half marathons, marathons, and even a triathlon! His favorite memory was finishing the 2023 USA Triathlon in Milwaukee with a time of 4 hours and 6 minutes with Captain and Board Member, Tim Muldoon.
"Best. Weekend. Ever! Kegen's first-ever triathlon and it’s his favorite race he’s ever done thus far. Thanks, mTT!"
Kegen's Journey Through the World
Kegen has a contagious smile that can be seen whenever he is racing! However, beyond race day, he enjoys camping, water skiing, going on vacations, watching the Minnesota Vikings, and spending time with his large and loving family. With 4 brothers and 6 chickens, Kegen is always keeping busy and entertained.
He brings so much happiness to everyone and I don’t know what life would be like without him! says Mother, Kate.
Kegen is light to the myTEAM TRIUMPH family. He has made friends and memories that will last a lifetime. From the holiday parade to hanging out at various theme parks Kegen has had a blast with the people he has met through myTEAM TRIUMPH.
"Everyone at MTT is so supportive and kind and makes everyone a champion!"
What's Next for Warrior Kegen?
Kegen is not done yet! With already competing in 10-plus races including a triathlon and a marathon this year, he wants to continue to raise the bar. His main goal as he grows older is to compete for an IRONMAN title!
We are positive that Kegen will continue to show us how EXTRAORDINARY he is. We are so lucky that Kegen is a part of our TEAM and we have no doubt that they will accomplish all of his goals! The sky is the limit for our Little Warrior, Kegen.