Picture of Trent Clayton

Trent Clayton

Team UP is thrilled to welcome its first Jr. Co-Captain, Trent!

Trent’s mother, Darla says that “at 11 years of age Trent has endured more challenges, and lived life with more passion than many people ever do.” As a baby, he suffered his first of what would be many strokes caused by cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM). Due to the strokes, he’s had brain surgery twice and was diagnosed with right sided hemiparesis.  The CCMs are exacerbated by a bleeding disorder, and Trent has been receiving IV infusions 3 times a week to maintain adequate clotting levels since he was 4 years of age.  In December 2011, Trent had a new stroke which led to further difficulties moving his foot and ankle and a new diagnosis of epilepsy.  Despite these challenges, Trent is a charming young man who enjoys science, the outdoors, singing, and video games.

In spite of his challenges, Trent is a very active boy.  He could always run better than he could walk.  He tried several sports but didn’t have the coordination necessary to keep up in soccer or baseball. When he was 7, his parents decided that since he loves to run, they should just let him run! He competed as an independent athlete at a regional competition for athletes with disabilities in 2011 and qualified for his first National Junior Disability Championships (NJDC) when he was 8.  He ran three sprints that year, without a brace.  He had lots of scraped knees and elbows from frequent falls but he got up and kept trying every time!  The experience at NJDC was so amazing, and inspiring for his whole family.  On the way home, Trent suggested they start a team in their area to encourage other kids to get active in adaptive sports.  It was during that drive that Strong as Steel Adaptive Sports was born.  Over the next year, Trent and his family worked to establish Strong as Steel, Trent did a lot of training, and he was prescribed his first ToeOFF® brace.  In 2012, Trent again qualified for and participated at NJDC, this time he ran in his new brace.  He competed in 8 events, and won 5 gold and 3 silver medals, but he was particularly thrilled to learn that he broke a national record in the long jump!  Trent currently holds the U11 F37 record for long jump and discuss. He has branched out into swimming and archery and continues to participate in track and field events. Trent’s spirit and determination are infectious and an inspiration to his entire family.