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Bond between runner, disabled Patrick Henry High School student stretches far beyond the track

Posted at 11:47 AM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 14:47:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Sean McQuaid has been running more than half his life, but when he met Patrick Henry High School senior Cormac Evans, running for McQuaid would never be the same.

"It gives you better purpose to what you do. It's not just competing with yourself; you're going along a journey with someone,” said McQuaid.

Cormac was born with hemimegaloencephaly, and his mother, Cindy Spiva, said, "The entire left side of his brain was super enlarged and malformed, causing constant seizures.”

Spiva said the left side of his brain was removed as a child, paralyzing right side movement. Doctors predicted Cormac wouldn't make it past 2 years old.

Cormac has beat the odds and is now 18 years old.

"We are grateful for every day, try to make the most for every day,” Spiva said.

Cormac's love and need for speed began when his mom took him on a 5K a few years ago. Spiva said he loved it and even ran with him when he entered high school, for Patrick Henry's track team. But Spiva, petite, couldn't do it for long, and that's where McQuaid came in.

"I saw this father push his son and I thought this was cool. They played Disney music and we just started chatting away," McQuaid said.

Cormac and McQuaid met in 2019 through the Team Hoyt Foundation, an organization giving young disabled individual the opportunity to join activities with the help of volunteers.

The duo finally teamed up in November 2020, and started with a triathlon, as McQuaid casually described: "We swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 and ran 13.1."

McQuaid said Cormac was a piece in his life he never knew was missing.

"I think working with disabled individuals isn't something you fall into, you have to be wired for it and clearly Sean was designed for it," Spiva.

"I didn't know it was missing until we found each other and then it was like, 'Oh, my gosh.’ It became whole and just added this energy and excitement," McQuaid said.

If you spot McQuaid pushing Cormac one day to a finish line, McQuaid said what you won't see is Cormac pushing him right back.

"He's pushing me more than I'm pushing him. It's that bond on that course or session you can't describe or fabricate. It's that energy you're in it together like, 'We got this bud, let's keep going,’” said McQuaid.