Courtesy of John Duarte, California.
Jamal Hill of Inglewood, California struggles with the degenerative disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth – but not much else.
Once fully paralyzed from the neck down, and now top ranked in the United States, 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, a personable aquapreneur and member of the USA Paralympic swim team, is looking forward to competing in the 2020 Tokyo, 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles 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 my arms is also 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.
Currently coach by Wilma Wong, Hill is ranked #1 among American Paralympic swimmers and 13th in the world in the 50m freestyle going into the Olympic year. But he has also created Swimming Up Hill, a digital marketing company that markets health and fitness brands, insurance and medical practices.
At its core, Hill’s mission is to teach 1 million people how to swim. He works with swim schools in Southern California to help the schools facilitate more lessons for lower cost to the customer.
Hill balances his work at Swimming Up Hill with his participation on the World Para Swimming World Series 2019 where he travels the world.
Hill is shown above with fellow American Paralympic swimmer Robert Griswold of Indiana.
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