Lexington man to take part in Ironman race in honor of boy blinded from gunshot

Lexington man to take part in Ironman race in honor of boy blinded from gunshot
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 10:40 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It was nearly three years ago that eight-year-old Malakai Roberts’ life changed forever.

“Back in 2020, a few days before Christmas, someone shot into his house as he was getting ready for bed, someone shot into his house and struck him in the head, in his temple. It was two centimeters from his brain, but it did leave him permanently blind for the rest of his life,” said Lexington Police Officer Corey Doane.

Although things haven’t been easy for the Roberts family since, several Lexington community members have stepped up to offer their support to the young boy, including Doane.

“When the incident happened with Malakai, it really hit me really hard. I knew at some point I was gonna do something special for Malakai, but I didn’t know what it was gonna be, then about two years ago, it hit me,” he said.

Doane has been training for the 2023 Ironman race in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the last year.

The race is 144.6 mile test of endurance, including swimming, biking and running.

“I just want to hopefully inspire others that we can all do more,” said Doane. “We’re all usually very blessed with where we’re at in life and some people just need an extra lift and if I can do that for Malakai and inspire others, that would warm my heart even more.”

The Many Miles for Malakai fundraiser’ was created with one goal in mind; to help raise funds and surprise the young boy with an invite to be a captain at next Sunday’s race.

“Corey’s an amazing guy. We are so lucky to have connected with him,” said Malakai’s mom, Cacy Roberts. “He’s definitely going to be in our lives forever and we’re really excited for Chattanooga to see what he can do.”

Money raised from Sunday’s event will go toward Malakai’s special disability trust to help with any medical-related expenses he has in the future.