Sophomore Derek Funk doesn’t let his disability effect his love for track


Photo By: Carlos Resendez

Entering the stadium, one particular student catches the eyes of the crowd. Although some know his name, only a few know his story.

Sophomore Derek Funk was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth. It is a defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. He has Myelomeningocele, which is the most severe form of the condition.

“It’s why my legs don’t work well,” Funk said.

Funk does not let his misfortune get in his way. This is his first year racing for the track team as a paralympic and he has already made his mark on the team.

“I have two medals so far [from track meets],” Funk said.

Track is the type of sport that Funk can fit in well. Aside from the feeling of winning, he enjoys the exhilaration caused by track.

“I like the feeling of going fast,” Funk said.

After high school, Funk wants to attend Brigham Young University, located in Provo, Utah. He also wishes that he can pursue his dreams without the disability getting in the way.

“I want to hopefully become a doctor,” Funk said.

He is hoping to continue track throughout high school and become a role model towards other students with disabilities.