VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach teen who has been defying odds his whole life is preparing to do it again this weekend.
Born at 26 weeks, William Yancey weighed just 1 pound, 14 ounces. Doctors said he wouldn’t live past three days, then they predicted he would never eat, never speak, never walk.
“We just didn’t believe it,” said William’s mom Lisa Stephen. “We have this beautiful child and there’s no way that all the nevers were going to happen, so we just checked every one of them off.”
Now at age 15, Yancey is preparing to check off another never. He’s preparing to walk across the finish line of the 1K walk at the J&A Racing’s Big Blue event at ODU on Saturday.
“I’m excited!” Yancey said.
He’s been road racing with Team Hoyt for the past 8 years
His racing partner, Miss Jenny, has pushed him to the finish line nearly a dozen times. They’ve participated in many local 5Ks and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
Yancey has been training on a treadmill and walked for 10 minutes last week. He and Mom are both a little nervous but mostly excited for him to walk across the finish line of the 1K walk — on his own two feet.
“I’m sure I’ll be doing the ugly cry,” Stephen laughed.
They know it won’t be easy, but Stephen said Yancey has proven time and again to never say never.
“Never give up hope, no matter what the diagnosis, no matter how grim it looks, just keep pressing on.”