Teenage runner struck down by illness battles back to run again

A once promising Kiwi teenage athlete is determined to run again after being struck down by illness.

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Jaffar Nuru has only just learned to walk again, now he is determined to run. Source: Seven Sharp

In the last year Jaffar Nuru has had to learn to walk again after doctors discovered a tumour in the left side of his brain, the treatment leaving him confined to a wheelchair, but nothing stopped the 17-year-old's determination to run again.

"Once I finished chemo, is when I decided my aim was to get back to running as soon as possible," Jaffar told Seven Sharp.

Jaffar holds the 400-meter record at Geraldine High School, a record he set in 2016.

A year ago he could run 100 meters in just over 11 seconds, and 400 meters in just over 50.

His mother Swabha Nuru, said she knew something was wrong when Jaffar began complaining about his hearing, this was followed by a car accident.

"I was driving to the athletics club in Geraldine. I got in my car ten minutes down from my house. I lost control of my car and I ended up crashing into a stream," Jaffar said.

The seriousness of the tumour needed immediate attention to prevent it from spreading, this meant a surgery to take place within the next two days.

It took months before Jaffar could walk again.

"It was a shock.

"Everyone was telling me it's going to take time, it's going to take time, but I was so set on 'I want to get back to running as soon as possible'".

With athletics day soon to come, Jaffar had the date of the event locked in.

PE teacher Kieran Blogg says Jaffar had been working really hard and used his extra time to put in that sacrifice to get himself back out on the track, "doing what he loves."

Jaffar was known to be an inspiration for how fast he was on the track, but now he has inspired others with his courage to fight back no matter the circumstances.

After the car accident, Jaffar wasn’t sure whether he’d make it back to the track but says he had major support from his brother who wouldn’t let him give up.

Watch his incredible journey in the video at the top of the article.