Many Miles 4 Malakai #MM4M

Many Miles 4 Malakai #MM4M

From Corey Doane

Doing Ironman Chattanooga (144.6 Miles) and dedicating the journey to Malakai Roberts and raise awareness for victims of gun violence in our community. The hope is to inspire others while making a personal connection.

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Malakai’s Story

On December 21st , 2020, Malakai was a typical five year old boy excited for the upcoming Christmas holiday, spending his winter break at home with his mom, Cacy, and younger brother, Kameron. On that evening, while Cacy was getting her boys ready for bed, tragedy struck. Malakai was lying next to his mom and brother when a hail of bullets tore through their Lexington home. Cacy suffered a gunshot wound to her arm and quickly discovered Malakai had been shot in the head. A bullet had struck Malakai's temple and missed his brain by two centimeters, leaving Malakai permanently blind. 

This was a tragedy so many parents could not even fathom. Malakai and his family quickly adjusted to their new normal and Malakai’s lack of eye sight. They have navigated so many challenges but continue to persevere. Malakai attends Fayette County Public Schools like other kids his age. He also attends Kentucky School for the Blind quarterly. He managed to learn to ride a bicycle and has even co-authored a book, The Adventures of Malakai Roberts: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. Malakai’s mom says that his positive attitude is the only way she has been able to push forward. She says he has moments where he wished he could see the Christmas lights one last time, but for the most part is the same fun loving competitive silly kid he has always been. Malakai continues to hit milestones and just wants to experience the joys of life other kids his age get to do.

Corey's Story

Corey was born and raised in Lexington, KY and still calls it home to this day with his wife (Leigh) and their three children (Piper 7, Madison 5, Evan 2). He has served with the Lexington Police Department for the past 17 years. Unfortunately, he has had a front row seat to senseless gun violence during his career. His eldest daughter was the exact same age as Malakai, the night he lost his sight, and nearly his life. Malakai's story touched his heart, as this could have easily been his family. He knew then he was called to help Malakai in an impactful way. The Roberts family had an initial outpouring of support, but over weeks and months, the news and media moved on to new stories, but yet Malakai had his whole life ahead of him, navigating life with a disability.

About two years ago, God placed it upon his heart to do an Ironman and devote his journey to the slogan “Many Miles 4 Malakai”. He still remembers the night very vividly, he woke up in the middle of the night and all at once had this feeling come over him to do an Ironman and to do it for Malakai. He originally tried to deny this knowing the Ironman journey is long and grueling with three young kids, full time job and many other commitments. He also have had several people try to talk him out of doing this and tried to give him multiple excuses not to. However after a few days, he knew this was what he was going to do and why he was doing it. He has been actively training for the big day in September. God willing and if he can stay injury free- Malakai and Corey will be Ironmen at the end of the day on September 24th , 2023!!!

Inspiration/Call to Action

Only some family and friends very close to Corey have known about this Ironman journey so far but he is ready to tell more about it. Below are some of the positive impacts Corey thinks this story could have:

● Raise money for Malakai and his family’s immediate needs. A Special Needs Trust has also been set up to help Malakai with future medical and educational expenses.

● Call others to do something for more than themselves. Hope to tell this story and make others go outside and better the lives of others in need.

● Mentorship with local school children. Corey is a huge proponent of mentorship and what a positive role model can have on children lacking this in their lives. He hopes this story will inspire others to get involved with children within their communities to give them opportunities they would not have had.

● Positive Community Story- The bond a police officer and victim of gun violence can have. Hope to build a positive story showing this bond and what we can do for each other to build a better community together.

● Overall, Corey just wants to call others to do something more than themselves. If it is to get more active in their communities, churches, schools or any other segment of their lives where they feel they can do more.

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