Once Braced by Cerebral Palsy, Now Bracing for a Marathon

Jimmy Mulzet’s father would be very proud of his son’s current idée fixe: first-time participation in the New York Marathon this autumn. Mulzet was stricken with cerebral palsy in his first year, and, after several years in heavy braces and wheelchair- bound, it was his father who “bugged” him into the ambulatory world and encouraged him to strengthen his leg muscles.

Jimmy Mulzet
Thanks to a neighbor who worked at CUNY’s Central Office, Mulzet (who lives around the corner from the building in Yorkville) began working there in 1977 as part of a school-plus-work program for the disabled created during the Ed Koch mayoralty. Three years later, he became full-time, and Mulzet is now marking his 23rd year of service in the personnel office and the mail room.

Mulzet, who is now 46, has been very active on the services for the disabled front and in his St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church. There’s a famous photo of Jimmy being embraced by Pope John Paul II in Denver in 1993, and he also joined a group of the disabled who visited the Pope in Rome for the Millennium celebrations of 2000.

Mulzet has been power-walking for a year now, lately under the auspices of the Achilles Track Club in Midtown, which puts him in the company of many other veteran and aspiring marathoners, some with guide dogs or in wheelchairs. He meets regularly at the Roadrunners Club on 89th Street to power-walk with non-disabled volunteers.

“I’ve made it all around the Circular Drive, and I’m hoping by mid-summer to be up to 13 to 20 miles at a stretch,” Mulzet says.

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