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The children competed in swimming first, then biked around the track that was marked by cones and chalk on the asphalt and then walked, with a variety of assisting equipment. Some did Olympic distances and others did iron man distances.

The triathlon at Domino's Farm in Ann Arbor was the brainchild of physical therapist Betsy Howell, who works at Mott's pediatric rehabilitation center.

Howell, a former triathlon competitor, got the idea for Sunday's event while competing last August at her first triathlon in 30 years.

"My goal was not to die and I didn't," Howell said. "But there was a group there called 'Team Triumph.' They pulled disabled kids in rafts, and they pulled them in a bike trailer, and then they push them in a jogger. I'm like 'that's really cool. That's awesome.'"

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Howell works with children with a variety of physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and spinal muscle atrophy type 2.

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Many regions around the world impacted by HTLV-1 are poorer communities that often go overlooked by the medical establishment and don't have as many health care resources, Gallo said.
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