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Niko Herold

Niko Herold

Niko Herold

Hometown: Seagrave, ON

Niko Herold was born two months early, which caused a traumatic brain injury upon birth accompanied by a seizure disorder. His dedicated mother Donna, spent weeks driving three hours round-trip each day to his Toronto hospital's newborn intensive care unit in order to be with her son. Beating the odds, Niko made it through the complications that his early delivery caused. He was later diagnosed with moderate to severe Cerebral Palsy, and his mother was told he would likely never walk, talk, be able to learn cognitively or live an independent life.


At the age of two, after months of intense daily therapy, Niko learned to sit-up. He stood up on his own at the age of three. Throughout his childhood Niko underwent several surgeries to help with his vision along with procedures on his ankle and Achilles tendon. At this time his family decided to participate in a new study, measuring the success of botox injections into the Achilles tendon. Niko became the first child to participate in the revolutionary study.

Growing up Niko alternated between utilizing a wheelchair and crutches. By the age of four he was successfully walking unassisted. As Niko's language skills improved, he became involved in fundraising for children with disabilities. He and his family raised thousands of dollars through their local Rotary Club, and for Sick Kids Hospital and Easter Seals. In grade six Niko was even nominated for Citizen of the Year for his efforts in educating the public on individuals living with a disability.


Today, Niko has become a high school graduate and attended Durham College in a program specifically designed for students living with a disability. He fought to be able to branch out into the non-modified mainstream college courses - which he accomplished and completed - in order to earn the prerequisite courses needed to apply for a culinary diploma program. His hard work paid off and he started the culinary program this fall. In high school, Niko wanted to be an example for other students living with disabilities to be integrated and not labelled. He continued this in college, teaching students how to be their own advocates and helping them to achieve their goals. Since birth, he has shown great determination to never give up regardless of his disability, and he will continue to help others achieve inclusion and accessibility on his life's journey.

Niko ran in the Relay in Oshawa on November 3, 2011 - Day 72 of the Relay.

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