Remember Naieya, the daughter of the WBC great and Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder?  She was only three years old when her father went on to win the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, earning him the monicker “The Bronze Bomber,” but he has long credited his daughter as being the an inspiration behind his drive.

Naieya was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord doesn’t completely develop properly.

She developed as a normal child with a wonderful sense of humor, an amazing smile, and about as much optimism as any person could possibly have…. She just had difficulty with walking.

Over the years, Naieya’s mother Helen Duncan has shared many stories of small victories and even some frustrating moments of their journey on her social media.  Speaking of her social media, be it known that Helen is quite the fighter and fitness guru herself!  She has numerous pictures and videos from her days of being a Zumba instructor and model as well as documentation of various career moves she’s made in her efforts to provide a wonderful life for Naieya.

So, it came as no surprise when she shared the following video with a caption that included the following statement.

9 hours of surgery, 5 days in the hospital, 11 weeks on bed rest, 4 months of therapy, 2 months of aquatic therapy, went from a wheelchair to a walker and now completely HEALED and walking on her own with no assistance.

Stories like this speak of triumph but definitely prove that persistence is the key to overcoming the odds and winning at the game of life.

Congratulations, Naieya and your entire village!

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