|Anthony Melton, right, CFISD technology services software analyst, will guide blind athlete Kellie Dewveall, left, as she runs her first full marathon at the Chevron Houston Marathon on Jan. 19.|
While running in Memorial Park last fall, Melton came across a friend who was guiding another blind runner. Upon his return, his friend invited him to run with EyeCan Alliance to learn more about the process, and met Kellie Dewveall. Kellie was born blind, and had made it her goal for 33 years to run a full marathon.
“Life, family, obstacles and injuries got in the way to prevent her from accomplishing this goal,” Melton said. “She and the team asked me to be her guide, and I accepted. I put my races and goals to the side.”
Dewveall is the only blind athlete slated to compete in the full marathon on Jan. 19; the other blind participants are running in the half marathon race.
Melton guided Dewveall for their first race together, the Sugar Land Turkey Trot 5-mile race, on Nov. 28, and they most recently completed the Fort Bend Kia 30K on Dec. 15 with fellow guide Jaylyn Skinner.
|Anthony Melton, left, and fellow EyeCan Alliance guide Jaylyn Skinner, right, will guide blind runner Kellie Dewveall to her first Chevron Houston Marathon on Jan. 17.|
Prior to the partnership with EyeCan Alliance, Melton had completed the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, 2019, running in a time of 4 hours, 4 minutes as a part of Team In Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). He ran in honor of his son’s classmate, Audrey, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 8, as well as his longtime friend, William Riley, who passed away from leukemia in 2019.
Melton raised more than $6,300 for the LLS in 2019, contributing to Team In Training’s $1.2 million annual total.
"This journey of fitness has gone from being a personal goal to cancer awareness, fundraising and finding a way to give back," Melton said. "It’s so rewarding knowing that I’m able to give what I learned in eight years to others.
"Knowing that Kellie will cross that finish line at Chevron is the best medal ever. I cannot wait to hug and cry with her. I will never forget this. I will continue helping those who want to achieve their goals."
Track Melton and Dewveall on race day by visiting the Chevron Houston Marathon website or using the mobile app.