Mind Over Matter — 26.2 Say I Can
There are those people who say they can and those people who say they can’t. They are both right. ~ Author Unknown
Running a marathon is a BIG DEAL.
In 2011, 46,795 people finished the New York City Marathon.
Canada’s largest marathon was the Ottawa Marathon with 4,060 people finishing.
In 2011, there were 552,032 marathon finishers in North America.
So far, the Boston Marathon has had the most in 2012 with 21,554 finishers.
IT IS AN INCREDIBLE THING TO FINISH ONE MARATHON — YOUR FIRST MARATHON.
Physically and mentally, you ARE PUSHED to the limit.
The MARATHON IS A great LIFE METAPHOR.
You get out of it as much as you put into it.
Running Against The Odds
The following 26 people have become a source of inspiration and motivation for me to run my own marathons.
Each has overcome their own INCREDIBLE athletic and personal obstacles.
READ EACH OF THEIR STORIES WHICH APPEARS AFTER THIS INFOGRAPHIC.
Simply — AMAZING!
** By the way — I would love to hear your stories, drop me a comment a the bottom of this page or LET’s CONNECT
United States[testimonial company="Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Patient, Marathoner" author="Ali Feller"
- Diagnosed with the digestive disorder Crohn’s disease at age 7. Ali started running in 2008 in New York City.
- In 2010 went through several bad flare-ups. Crohn’s is an auto-immune disease which needs to be dealt with every day.
- Running two blocks, led to two miles, which led to the Fitness Mind, Body & Spirit 4-miler in 2008, which led to a half marathon, which led to her first marathon in September 2011!
I once read that only 1% of the population will run a marathon in a lifetime. I want to be part of that percentage.
By running 26.2 miles, I’ll be proving to myself that I’m capable of one of the most challenging physical feats there is.
I’ll also be proving something to the more than 1.4 million Americans who suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: you can have an un-sexy, embarrassing illness and overcome it and complete a marathon.
I’ve had Crohn’s Disease since I was seven and it’s incredibly frustrating living with a digestive disorder that has no cure. Living with Crohn’s Disease is so hard because no one wants to talk about the awkward symptoms (bathroom issues!).
I want to spread awareness and make people feel more comfortable talking about their symptoms.
~ Ali Feller
Uncover Ali’s story: Ali’s blog
Amber and June Miller
United States[testimonial company="Mother and Newborn Daughter, Marathoner" author="Amber and June Miller" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Amber-Miller.jpg"]
- And there’s the story of Amber and June Miller.
It was October 2011 when twenty-seven year-old joined 45,000 other runners Amber ran/walked the Chicago marathon 39 weeks pregnant — the kicker — days from her due date.
Only hours after crossing the finish line, June finished the marathon seven hours later shedding tears in her mother’s arms.
“I was having a conversation with my parents and said, ‘You know what? I have no plans of actually finishing,’” she told reporters at Central DuPage Hospital this morning. “I was planning on running half, skipping to the end, then walking across the finish line.”
It was during the second half of the marathon that June kicked into action — gesturing mom to kick a little bit more buts perhaps? Amber and her husband no sooner finished the marathon in 6.5 hours, when their next race ensued — the race to the delivery room.
- After running eight marathons prior, Amber got the OK from my doctor to run half. My husband ran with me and supported me along the way, I ran half and walked half, that’s how I finished.
- The greatest risk to mother and baby was dehydration, which could have sent Miller into premature labour Loughead said.
But Miller was in excellent physical shape when she ran — and had already carried the baby full term, new-natalogist Dr. Jeffrey Loughead said.
The extraordinary ordeal has also taken its toll on husband Joe Miller. The 32-year-old told the Sun Tribune he didn’t train hard for the marathon because he thought baby June would already have arrived, so Amber wouldn’t require his support on the run. He said: ‘I was completely exhausted. I was placing my bet on June being here already.’
Everybody just kind of stared as I’m running by.
~ Amber Miller
Uncover Amber’s story: ABC News
United States[testimonial company="Lost Soul Survivor, Marathoner, Author, CRO of Runner's World"
author="Bart Yasso" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Bart-Yasso.jpg"]
- Looking inwards, Bart saw himself as an unexceptional middle child of seven.
Alcohol and marijuana shook things up from the age of 14 onwards — including a bust with undercover narcotics agents.
- Life became a haze until his girlfriend’s dog, his little saviour, Brandy, kicked Bart in the but. A few walks, led to a couple of chases, which led into a run and then more.
- Bart pushed through the physical strains of his two packs of cigarettes a day habit and began jumping out of bed early every morning to detoxify with sweat and breathe of fresh air before heading into life’s distractions.
This became his therapy.
- A few unassuming challenges from his athletic brother, led to running his first race a 10K, which led to running his first marathon, the Prevention marathon in Bethlehem Pennsylvannia.
Two months later he ran his second!
- And Bart has never looked back, as he heads as Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World today.
And when I started running, I started dreaming. It couldn’t be helped.
The mind works as hard as the body does during exercise.
It knows its role during those lonely interludes—to inspire, analyze, and fantasize. ~ Bart Yasso
Uncover Bart’s amazing story: My Life On The Run!
Betty Jean McHugh
Canada[testimonial company="Octagonian Marathoner, Author, Mom" author="Betty Jean McHugh" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Betty-Jean-McHugh.jpg"]
- Betty Jean McHugh emerged in November of 1927 on the family farm in Ontario.
- She walked out of the farm, much to her father’s chagrin and into nursing school in Toronto. Aiming for Vancouver and ending up at Vancouver General Hospital, Betty Jean’s patient led to four children.
- It wasn’t until age 50, that BJ began running and falling for road racing and two years later, her first marathon at 55.
Over 300 races ensued, as did over 30 world records for her age and countless marathons.
At age 80, she set a new world record at the 29th Royal Victoria Marathon and has been dubbed the fastest senior in the world.
- BJ McHugh looks to challenge today’s concept of aging and the elderly.
- Regularly running with a group of women starting out at around 6 a.m. three times a week for an hour, she runs a fourth, longer run on Saturday mornings and can last up to three-and-a-half hours, if a marathon is beckoning.
She cross-trains with cycling, lifts weights in the gym, and practises yoga.
- BJ has not come through the record books unscathed. Moving through numerous injuries — like tripping over her dog as it darted out to catch a squirrel and injuring her shoulder leading to surgery, she takes life one day at a time; she continues to deal with her husband’s decline into dementia, and financial difficulties.
BJ recounts in her book how she runs and stays by the side of the man she calls “the great love of my life.”
Your age is just a number — anyone who takes up a demanding sport once they have hit the mid-century mark clearly is not troubled by the ageing process.
~ Betty Jean McHugh (83 years young)
Uncover BJ’s amazing story: My Road to Rome
South Africa[testimonial company="Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Survivor, Co-found and Director of People Living With Cancer, Marathoner" author="Carl Liebenberg" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Carl-Liebenberg.jpg"]
- Carl Liebenberg was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1998 and after undergoing nine months of chemotherapy and two rounds of abdominal surgery he is now cancer-free.
- For many, September 11 conjures up images of death and grief. For me, it is a good day because on that day I was told I had beaten cancer.
- Life took hold — NO… REALLY took hold — after staring death in the face.
Carl got divorced, went back to university to get an MBA, met a gorgeous girl, remarried; started 2 businesses, a charity and a family.
- Carl also developed the waist line to show it! After looking in the mirror one morning, he realised he may have escaped dying of cancer, but if things didn’t change heart disease would invade next.
So he started running.
- In 2008 in New York, Carl ran his first marathon, 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer, finishing in 4 hours and 45 minutes.
It marked the celebration of a significant anniversary of a life-changing event.
United States[testimonial company="Breast Cancer Survivor, 200+ Marathons" author="Carol Dellinger " image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Carol-Dellinger.jpg"]
- For many, running a marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; for Carol Dellinger, On April 29th 2012, it was her 260th marathon.
It’s a passion that Dellinger, from Spokane, has had for the past 20 years. One after another, she crosses the finish line with the same smile and gratitude.
Two years ago, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer.
She wouldn’t let cancer take her life or her passion.
“Nine weeks after that diagnosis and my mastectomy of my right breast, I crossed the finish line for my comeback marathon,” said Dellinger.
Crossing the finish line wasn’t a matter of “if” — it was “when.”
“There’s hope. You can be diagnosed with breast cancer and still live a normal life and move forward and most of it is having a positive attitude,” she said.
Now, she said she has her sights set on her lifelong goal.
“I’ve always had a goal of running 500 marathons and I just figured this is a speed bump in the road. I’m getting to 500 marathons,” said Dellinger.
- Carol was diagnosed on a Thursday in October, a few days after the Portland Marathon.
That Sunday she ran the Victoria marathon.
The weekend following the More Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.
The weekend after that was the Cape Cod Marathon – the last marathon with both breasts.
She had her surgery on November 9th.
Right then and there I knew that I was going to hit this disease like I was running a marathon. I wasn’t going to have a pity party. I was going to hit it head on.
Focus on how far you’ve come, not on how far you have to go.
Uncover Carol’s story: Warrior Marathon Runner
England[testimonial company="Bone Marrow Cancer Patient, The Jane Tomlinson Inspiration Award Recipient, Philanthropist, Marathoner" author="Daphne Hathaway" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Daphne-Hathaway.jpg"]
- Daphne Hathaway, 75, tackled the 2011 London Marathon despite having been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in March 2010 — a cancer which left her bones so brittle that she had to walk the 26 miles and 385 yards.
- To add a poignant twist to the tale, Daphne took part to raise money for research into Alzheimer’s, a disease invading four of her closest relatives.
- It is their disease which is feeding her training efforts, which have included walks of up to 22-and-a-half miles around the lanes of Norfolk.
She said: “This cause is everything to me. I cannot imagine a worse disease for anyone to endure. And this is someone with cancer saying it.”
- Lacing up for her first time in her late 50s, Daphne has completed 14 marathons, including nine in London.
Daphne threw herself into her new training program with the good humour of a person who refuses to sugar-coat the truth, but also refuses to let herself be overwhelmed by the facts.
She even claims to have discovered a new feeling she calls the ‘walker’s high’.
“The doctors told me any pounding will fracture my bones, so I can’t jog, jump or climb any ladders – but I can still walk,” Daphne says. “Having already earned my Good for Age place at this year’s London Marathon, I wanted to honour it – so I committed to walking 26.2 miles instead.”
We’ve all got to go in the end and if my bus comes along a bit earlier than expected, so be it.
But my illness doesn’t mean I have to sit still and do nothing – that’s just not me. ~ Daphne Hathaway
Uncover Daphne’s story: Daphne’s Giving page
United States[testimonial company="Cervical Cancer Survivor, Mother, Marathoner" author="Dari W" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Dari-W.jpg"]
- In 1998 at age 25, Dari was diagnosed with cervical cancer and told sh’d never conceive.
In 1990, she held her healthy baby boy.
- In 2002, Dari was rediagnosed with stage III cancer — had the recimmended hysterectomy, did radiation and took interferon which because of its chemical make-up makes you almost automatically depressed.
Tennis kept Dari active and sane.
- A few years later she began running, which led to her first 1/2 marathon in 2008 and the Niagara Falls marathon, her first marathon — in 2009 with a time of 4:02:28.
Three weeks later? A diagnosis of late III cervical cancer.
- Additional rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery plus some, leaving a 14 year relationship — cleansing in full strength — physical, spiritual and mental.
All seemed well, but not without a bit more of a challenge — a serious car accident.
With no major injuries but a battery of tests and another announcment the cancer had not been beaten.
- One full fall and winter of treatments later and one whole year to the month later Dari begins training for another marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon and she is averaging 50 miles a week.
“Running has always been a stress-buster for me,” says Dari. “Much of my best problem-solving is done on a long run. The mental health benefits almost exceed the obvious physical benefits for me.”
Doctors cautioned against expending too much energy on running during her treatments, but she calculated the risk and decided the benefits of running outweighed the dangers. She took her training slowly, dealing with the fatigue and weariness brought on by radiation.
- Dari W. finished the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) while undergoing her fourth round of cancer treatment.
“Ultimately, this race was the culmination of two extremely challenging years full of ups and downs concluding with the final hill to the Iwo Jima Memorial,” says Dari. “The feeling of elation for me as I crossed the finish line was unparalleled.”
- With the 2011 MCM under her belt, she plans to continue her running regime. Future planned races include a 50K as well as two additional marathons. She hopes to run another MCM, as well.
As a result of her successful training throughout treatments, she recognizes the importance of maintaining a physically fit lifestyle and setting personal goals.
If I’ve learned anything over the last two years or so it’s that I’m much stronger than I thought I was and limitations are usually self-imposed and are really great opportunities for growth.
My life today is about choices and I’ve made the choice to live and love and pursue an active, healthy life that includes being better to myself and others.
We simply don’t know how much time we are going to get, so be kind, listen better, talk less and run more… lots more. ~ Dari W
Uncover Dari’s story: Running Proves to be Theraputic for Cancer Survivor
United States[testimonial company="Multiple Myeloma Cancer, Marathoner" author="Don Wright" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Don-Wright.jpg"]
- Dari W leads to Don Wright, developed a passion for running marathons later in life, right before getting diagnosed with cancer.
It was multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer with a median survival of about five years after diagnosis.
- Don’s goal: to run 50 marathons in 50 states.
With a weight-loss plan under his belt, running ensued and his first marathon took hold.
Myeloma attacks the bones, and a broken bone would stop the running, so Don took aim for the Boston Marathon.
He qualified and ran it. He had no reasonable expectation of finishing all 50 states.
Since the diagnosis eight years ago, Don is 70 and has run 60 marathons in 41 different states.
The cancer has been stable for three and a half years.
- My doctors are uniformly enthusiastic about the running as a way to strengthen my immune system and my bones. We’re not sure why it works, but keep doing what you’re doing.
We can’t know how long this treatment will continue to keep the cancer from growing, but for now, my family and I are relishing the extra time that I have been given, by travelling and doing these marathons together. They are a celebration of life!
I stand at the starting line and get choked up, thinking of the people I know who haven’t survived myeloma, and how lucky I am to be alive and able to run a marathon. I can’t wait to start the race.
Even on a cold, rainy day in the Seattle Marathon, I enjoyed every moment. As I run, I sometimes imagine that I’m just floating along, drifting past the scenery. I feel wonderful, and we’re going for all 50 states. ~ Don Wright
Uncover Don’s story: CNN Interview
United States[testimonial company="Heart Attack Survivor, Natural Running Coach, Marathoner" author="Elizabeth Maiuolo" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Elizabeth-Maiuolo.jpg"]
- In 2004, Elizabeth Maiuolo was working as a translator in Philadelphia when a heart attack struck at 28 years of age.
Just as frightening? Her doctors had no explanation to offer.
- In 2011, at age 36, she’s run six marathoner. What’s behind this transformation?
Maiuolo thinks it’s running, and her doctor agrees.
- Maiuolo and her doctors had been at odds when it came to her treatment.
The medication she was prescribed following her heart attack made her feel dizzy and she was resistant to having open heart surgery. “I realized I was going to be a heart patient for the rest of my life and I just thought ‘I can’t live like that.’”
So, against her doctors’ orders, she decided to start running. Why running? “I don’t know how the idea of running came into my head, but I figured if I could run, my heart would be healthy.”
- A boring relationship with the treadmill ensued, followed by street running and people and scenery watching.
A mile a couple times a week for the first month, led to her first half marathon in New York City in 2006.
I cried the last two miles. I was coming from being really scared that I could die at any moment and two years later, I was finishing a half-marathon.
That kind of stuff really changes the way you feel about yourself because you see that you can push through.
- Her doctors recently told her that she has made an unexpected complete recovery and they credit running as being one of the main reasons for her healing.
I tell people, ‘No matter how hard it is, it does get easier and it definitely pays off. ~ Elizabeth Maiuolo
Uncover Elizabeth’s story: Elizabeth Maiuolo Website
England[testimonial company="A CENTARIAN Marathon Runner" author="Fauja Singh" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Fauja-Singh.jpg"]
- Born in Beas Pind, Jalandhar, Punjab, British India on 1 April 1911.
- Fauja speaks only Punjabi and cannot read or write. After the death of his son, Fauja forced himself to search for a worthwhile alternative in life.
While his jogging skills were developed in India on a farm, it was at 81 in England that his love for the sport became more serious.
In London, he began challenging other old-agers to race him and gradually he moved on to longer distances.
- He took to training at Redbridge, Essex, dressed in a three-piece suit.
According to his coach, he used to run up to 20 kilometres easily and wanted to run a marathon, thinking it to be just 26 kilometres and not 26 miles.
It was after he realised this that he began training seriously. His coach had to rework everything, including his dress.
- He is a world record holder in his age bracket.
He debuted at the London Marathon in 2000 at 89.
In 2003 he shot out of the London Marathon and finished with his personal best time of 6 hours 2 minutes.
For the 90-plus age group, Fauja struck a time of 5 hours 40 minutes, at the 2003 Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
- The founder member of the Sikhs in the City running club, says I know how difficult it is to run the marathon, it seems quite easy for the spectators.
However, it has its own charm.
After Fauja’s wife passed away in India, Fauja moved to London in 1992 to live with his son.
The first 20 miles are not difficult. As for last six miles, I run while talking to God. ~ Fauja Singh
Read about Fauja on Wikipedia: Fauja Singh
Canada[testimonial company="Obesity Survivor, Leading International Ultra Runner" author="Ferg Hawk" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Ferg-Hawke.jpg"]
- It took four years, to go from fat to fit to famous.
Ferg is renown for his epic 2nd place finishes at Badwater, a record-breaking finish at the Marathon De Sables and has competed in hundreds of races including Western States and other international races. Now, after a few years off, he’s coming back better than before.
- At age 30, in 1987, Ferg was overweight and on the road to destruction with dangerously high blood pressure.
He was prescribed blood pressure medication and informed that he was at high risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Hawke threw the prescription out and started running to bring his weight down.
- In 1989 and 40 pounds lighter, Hawke ran a 10K, then completed his first marathon, then a triathlon before competing in his first Olympic distance triathlon in July and then the Ironman Canada in August.
“After finishing Ironman Canada and swore I’d never do another Ironman but my time was good enough to qualify for the Hawaii Ironman in Kona,” Hawke said.
- It took a few friends and a few beers to convince him to go to Kona which ultimately kick-started a career in Ironman races.
Hawke went on to complete in six Ironman races, the Triathlon World Championships in Surfers Paradise Australia as a member of the Canadian national team, and a 3rd place finish at the Ultraman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
- Before his two children were school age, Hawke was working for Air Canada and this shift prevented him from training appropriately for triathlons. He decided to focus on running because he could always squeeze in a run at night or with the kids piled into the double baby jogger.
- His base in competitive triathlons would provide him with the endurance and sheer will needed to tackle one of the toughest foot races on earth — the Badwater Ultramarathon.
Pain is just weakness leaving the body.
Not sure who wrote this but it got me through a lot of tough miles at Badwater. I had a bunch of crazy friends come down to Death Valley to cheer me on and they made this big sign with this quote on it and it kept appearing in the most opportune times.
- Other favorite quotes:
“Show no weakness” David Goggins.
David Goggins is a huge inspiration to me. Badwater was David’s third ultra marathon, he was 190lbs and had broken bones in his feet from a 100 mile race he ran to qualify for Badwater. His expression on his face didn’t change from the start to the finish, he just kept grinding. He is the hardest dude on the planet!
- For me its all about preparation.
I wasn’t blessed with an abundance of natural ability, nor do I have the ideal body type of an ultra runner (180 lbs) and I am in my fifties so the only way I feel I can compete at a high level is to do whatever I can to prepare for the race I have entered.
For example, training for the Badwater Ultramarathon I built a sauna that my treadmill fit inside and I would run in it almost every day for the two months leading up to the race with the temperature between 125 / 135.
I also went to Death Valley and spent a week training on the course in the heat.
Training for the Marathon de Sables I ran with a pack almost every training run for about three months leading up to the race.
The will to win means nothing if you haven’t the will to prepare. ~ Juma Ikangaa 1989 NY marathon winner.
I love this quote, I know so many people that say, I want to break 3 hours for the marathon or I want to do a sub 11 hour Ironman, or, or or…..
Most people have the ability to do these amazing things but they are not willing to put in the hard work and sacrifice that it takes to get there.
Uncover Ferg’s story with his DVD: The Distance Of Truth
United States[testimonial company="Brain Tumor Fighter, Marathoner, Founder of the New York City Marathon" author="Fred Lebow" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Fred-Lebow.jpg"]
- Diagnosed with a brain tumor in February 1990, chemotherapy and radiation treatments had stolen much of his already light appetite.
Lebow didn’t think about his cancer. He thought about running and new ideas and schemes.
Doctors already had told him that he might not live to see another race, let alone run one.
It was almost hard to tell which upset him more: the cancer or his inability to run.
In the hospital, Lebow estimated a 3,000-meter course in his ward and walked around in circles. Throughout his treatment he was getting some form of exerise, even if it was a very slow walk around the park.
- I turned 60 in June and told my staff, friends and family there should be no parties, no presents, no reception.
I would just give myself a gift to run the New York City Marathon.
- In 1992, Lebow packed in with 25,000 other runners, waiting for the gun that starts everybody across the congested Verrazano Narrows Bridge. The New York Marathon showcases the city at its finest hour.
- Lebow, whose cancer is in remission, has run 68 marathons all over the world, including the first New York Marathon in 1970 with 127 other runners when every step of the 26 miles and 385 yards was run within Central Park.
Lebow brought the race to the people in 1976 when he rerouted the course through the five boroughs of the city, but as the president of the New York Road Runner`s Club and the director of the marathon, he was too busy organizing to run.
He didn`t realize how much he wanted to run the race he created in 1976 until he contracted cancer.
- Died: October 9, 1994, New York City
When I worked, I was a very hard worker.
One beautiful spring day, I was in my office early in the afternoon, and on sudden impulse, I left, went up to 90th Street and started running.
It was wonderful, and I told myself that if it was so important to me, it would be immoral not to deliver the message to others. ~ Fred Lebow
Watch Fred’s movie: Run For Your Life
Canada[testimonial company="Colon Cancer Survivor, UltraRunner, Cable-French Award Winner" author="Jim Willet" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Jim-Willett.jpg"]
- Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond
So many of us runners get the calling; our inner voice tells us to stop thinking about it and do it already! Register for that 5k or 10k you’re considering; or the marathon or ultra you’ve been dreaming of.
For me it happened while staring at a picture of ultra running legend Ray Zahab’s running through an imposing desert landscape.
And when my calling came — which, I’ll swear was voice of Yoda accompanied by the most majestic version of the Star Wars theme song ever — it simply said;
“Jim, it’s time to take your running to the next level.”
- Ray Zahab’s Running For My Life book resonated because Jim was beginning his battle with cancer; Jim found the number and called him up — Ray.
Ray’s advice: “believe in yourself—no matter what. Selfdoubt will be there, but learn to push it aside.”
- Canadian ultra runners, Stephanie Case offered advice as well: “Find a race that you think is out of your league and sign up before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it. Next, tell all your friends and family about it to make sure you won’t back out!”
- That led to registering to run the 250km Gobi March through China’s Gobi Desert this summer. A HUGE LEAP.
- In January 2010, the diagnosis of colon cancer echoed. A year of chemotherapy and surgeries ensued.
- On July 2, 2011, the Gobi March, a 250km foot race in the Gobi desert of China was finished. Jim took home a 24th place and the prestigious Cable-French award (humanitarians, explorers).
The event was self supporting; participants carry their own food, clothing, and in Jim’s case — a chemo port, a device embedded in his chest for chemotherapy treatment — at the base of Flaming Mountains before the finish.
Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond
Uncover Jimmi’s story: Run Jimmi Run blog
United States[testimonial company="Breast Cancer Survivor, Octagonian Marathoner" author="Jeannine Julson" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Jeannine-Julson.jpg"]
- 83-Year-Old Marathon Runner Out To Beat The Odds
- Jeannine is all about beating the odds — she’s both a breast cancer survivor and a seasoned marathoner.
In October 2011, Jeannine ran her 53rd marathon on her 83rd birthday.
- She set out on her first at 58 years of age.
I guess I have endurance, I guess I can say that. Not speed, but endurance. I couldn’t even do a push up in gym in school.
I decided, I saw people in the back and I thought, ‘I can do that’ — and that’s where I still am, in the back. ~ Jeannine Julson
Uncover Jeannine’s story: Video!
United States[testimonial company="Lung Cancer Survivor, Father, Marathoner" author="Mark Conley" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Mark-Conley.jpg"]
- At 17 and a high school senior, thoughts of serious illness are as far out as the moon, Mark recounts.
Then it hits.
First, one bout of pneumonia, then another, and another.
The next thing you know I’m heading into surgery for removal of a tumor that is blocking my left lower lung. No problem, cut it out and let’s get back to living.
“Well Mark”, says the surgeon upon my waking, “I had to take out a little more than I anticipated. Your left lower lobe was destroyed by all those pneumonia bouts so it had to go. The good news is I got the entire tumor and you shouldn’t have to worry about this happening again.” I ask what the bad news is.
“You’ll never be able to run a marathon.”
Mark shrugs it off as no big deal and the statement leaves conscious thought for a long, long time.
- At 35, life is great; Mark is a happy husband and father with a great job.
He is healthy, eats right and exercise includes some running.
And the voice appears:
“Pssst, hey, you remember that time you were told you would never run a marathon?”
“Yes”, I reply, “but I don’t need to prove anything to anybody now. I’m satisfied and secure with my life.”
But the seed is planted….and it germinates.
Conley, 38, became an avid runner about 10 years ago, not long after getting his physical therapy degree from North Georgia College and State University (1998) and landing a job at Knoxville’s Parkwest Therapy Center, where he still works.
His inspiration came with the job.
- Mark sets his sight for the Knoxville Marathon and in training, hits 16 miles feeling the most alive he’s ever felt.
- Two days later, he is home with the flu.
With thoughts of all the training he’s done, and thoughts of losing the benefits, he tries the treadmill.
After four weeks, 2 courses of antibiotics Mark’s asthma worsens and a doctor’s visit announces, POSSIBLE EARLY STAGE CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE.
- On marathon day, the gun sets thousands off and Mark is one of them.
Mark is worn down, but no longer sick; mentally fatigued, but not exhausted.
At mile twenty, every organ and tissue screaming “stop this madness!”……everything that is except his 36 year old, diminished, asthmatic, chronically obstructed lungs.
Mark sees the stadium and the tears start streaming, I see the finish line. I hear my name over the stadium PA.
My wife yells my name from the stands and I look up to see my family watching and waving.
I will not attempt to describe how I feel.
I want to say thank you Tara for supporting me when you thought I was killing myself.
Also thank you Jeff Conley, my brother for your constant encouragement and to Phil Bevins, PT, OCS, SCS, CSCS for keeping me going and helping me believe.
Pssst, hey, you remember that time you were told you would never run a marathon? Yes, I reply, but I don’t need to prove anything to anybody now.
I’m satisfied and secure with my life.
But the seed is planted… and it germinates.
Uncover Mark’s story: Knox News
Matthew D Jones
United States[testimonial company="Brain Cancer Survivor, Professional Speaker, Author, Marathoner" author="Matthew D Jones" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Matthew-D-Jones.jpg"]
- Sitting at the edge of a hospital bed at twenty-five. With the help of those around him, Matthew needs to relearn how to walk and tie his shoes.
He manages five yards before exhaustion sets in.
- Matt envisions running a marathon.
His walks down the hospital hallway take on a new rhythm and new sense of purpose and determination takes hold.
- Behind the San Diego Rock N’Roll Marathon starting line in June 2006, Matt and 22,000 other participants prepare for another race.
- Life like a marathon is an endurance event.
To be successful in the race of life you do not have to be the fastest, the smartest, or the strongest.
The race of life is not a competition or even a destination.
It is a personal journey and each one of us has our own race to run.
- It is discovered the cancer had come back for a third time and spread to his cerebral spinal fluid.
Matt is given a less than 10% chance of living.
Matt is given experimental chemo and an Ommaya- reservoir placed in his head to administer the
The Ommaya causes an infection, one of his kidneys began to fail and
his temperature rises to above 104 degrees.
This lethal combination causes him to slip into an unconsciousness state around Valentine’s Day.
At 2:00 in the morning, family and friends are called in, as survival is uncertain.
Visualize Your Victory
A timeless truth says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
What is your vision for your life? What do you want to do, be, and have?
The first step is to be able to see your vision in your mind’s eye. Just as I laid in the hospital bed, picturing myself running a marathon, you must do the same for your vision.
Once you can do that, it becomes a definite major purpose. This moves the vision from your mind to the physical world.
Will Rogers said, “Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there.”
How do you run a marathon? One-step at a time. In order to fulfill your vision you have to take action every single day.
It does not matter how small it is. The key is to do something everyday that moves you closer to your vision. This builds momentum.
Think back to science class and inertia. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, while objects in motion stay in motion.
Check Your Attitude
According to Charles Swindoll, “The single most significant decision we can make on a day to day basis is our choice of attitude.”
In order to complete a marathon I had to have the belief it was possible.
Daily I had to check the negative self-talk and the self-defeating inner dialogue.
The little voice that says it is impossible. Once you have the attitude that your vision is possible, you will take the necessary action.
~ Matthew D Jones
Uncover Matt’s story: Matthew D Jones
United States[testimonial company="Neurofibromatosis Patient, Brain Tumor Survivor, Philanthropist, Marathoner" author="Rachel Malone" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Rachel-Malone.jpg"]
- At 30, Rachel Malone should have already died, before miraculously discovering she had a golf ball sized brain tumor on April 30, 2003.
After five years of severe headaches, a brain tumor was discovered.
Not just any tumor one large enought to create ten pounds of pressure on the brain.
After the surgery, she learned how to sit up, walk, and eventually run.
Despite never playing any sports before, an older man at a fitness center she worked at suggested she run a marathon.
Her immediate response — I can’t do that.
The thought intrigues her though, enough to decide to commit — to run her first marathon — the San Francisco Marathon.
- Three marathons later it’s 2010 and she is still running.
- For those of you who may not know, a marathon is 26.2 miles.
A marathon takes months of training, hard work, time, and determination!
Now you might be asking, Why on earth would anyone want to run a marathon?
Well, let me give you my reason — it’s more than running a marathon, I am running it for a cause.
Not many people are familiar with the disease Neurofibromatosis, also known as NF.
This disease attacks the nervous system and causes tumors in or on the body at any time or place.
I was born with NF, and one of the reasons I run is to raise money for a cure.
Being able to run is a reminder of how far I’ve come in my recovery, and that is something I don’t ever want to forget.
After surviving a brain tumor and learning to walk again, I never would have imagined running a marathon.
I am now training for my fourth marathon, and who knows how many more? ~ Rachel Malone
Uncover Rachel’s story: YouTube
United States[testimonial company="HIV Positive, IV Crystal Meth Addict, Poet, Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge, Marathoner" author="Rob Vassilarakis" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Rob-Vassilarakis.jpg"]
- When Rob Vassilarakis of the Bronx was 17-years-old, his mother read a journal entry of his and learned that he was gay.
She couldn’t deal with that and gave him an ultimatum – change or leave.
- Vassilarakas worked for Sound Factory as a dancer and promoter for New York City clubs.
In the fall of 2006, he was introduced to crystal meth and ended up homeless on the street.
A friend got him into treatment.
- At 22 he discovered he was HIV positive. My eyes reflected death. I looked awful.
- In 2009 Rob was intrigued to say the least, watching a four-time breast cancer survivor, run the New York City Marathon with the flu.
I was overcome by the energy coming from the runners. It was a high…a feeling that they were emanating, and I was loving it.
- In November 2010, he ran his first marathon at 4:57. He caught the running bug.
- In November 2011, he led his way through his second New York Marathon.
Don’t quit before that miracle happens because there is freedom on the other end. ~Rob Vassilarakis
Uncover Rob’s story: You Tube
United States[testimonial company="Obesity Survivor, Philanthropist, Marathoner, UltraRunner" author="Roger Wright" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Roger-Wright.jpg"]
- Overweight his whole life — the rubber hit the road at 300 lbs, at about 40 years of age.
- The effect to that point: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, numerous blood deficiencies, numerous body aches and pains, shortness of breath, constant fatigue, sleep apnea, kidney stones, plus some.
Fear and embarassment, held off doctor visits until 45.
That first doctor’s reaction, “Have you ever considered gastric bypass surgery?”.
Roger decided against it and is glad he did — that is only a temporary fix.
- What triggered action was three pretty much, simultaneous events:
1. He received the news — he didn’t make the cut for the show “The Biggest Loser”
2. He received the news — he made the cut for a diabetis diagnosis
3. He received the news — his 9-year-old niece Julia with cystic fibrosis made the cut for needing a lung transplant.
I told my wife ‘I’m going to train, lose 50 pounds, run the Boston Marathon, and raise money for Julie for cystic fibrosis.
She might have said anything.
But she said ‘I think that’s a great idea.’ And that if I ran the race she’d make sure I had a friend at every mile.
I said to myself, for the first time in my life I’m going to commit myself to a change. And I did.
- In 2008, Roger set out on a quest to live; TO REALLY LIVE.
It started off with losing weight and running, to running in the Boston Marathon in 2009.
Roger had a reason, other than himself to do this — his niece.
His set off with the goal to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, along with raising money for research into the treatment and cure of this heartbreaking disease.
- Roger IS LIVING. He has run NUMEROUS ultra, full and half marathons, all the while raising money for cystic fibrosis in honor of his niece Julia.
On November 6, 2011 Roger ran the New York City Marathon.
That was marathon number 12 — in 2.5 years since he ran the 2009 Boston Marathon.
If I can do it, then you can too.
If you would like to read more or donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, you can browse to www.rfme.org and read more about both Roger and CF.
~ Roger Wright
Uncover Roger’s story: Roger’s You Tube Video (over 2,328,389 views)
United States[testimonial company="1st Cancer Survivor to Summit Everest, Marathoner, Inspirational Speaker, Author, Don't Ever Give Up Award Recipient" author="Sean Swarner" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Sean-Swarner.jpg"]
- It’s April 2012 and Sean Swarner runs the Boston Marathon.
With only one functioning lung, the 36-year-old Swarner is a marathoning miracle.
At 16, he had been diagnosed with cancer — the second time in his short life, and given two weeks to live.
Swarner chose to fight back.
- Steeling himself with a heart full of hope and eyes trained on the skies, Swarner — underwent years of chemotherapy, a lung removal surgery and a medically-induced coma; he would go on to become an accomplished mountaineer.
- On May 16, 2002, Swarner became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest.
Since then, Swarner has scaled the seven summits — the highest mountains on every continent.
He has also completed the Hawaii Ironman.
Swarner spreads his mission of hope and triumph everywhere he goes, and is a recipient of the 2007 Don’t Give Up Award presented by the Jimmy V Foundation and ESPN.
To support cancer patients and survivors, Swarner founded CancerClimber — an organization that works to instill a sense of hope through physical accomplishments.
I went from basically the bottom of my life, from fighting for my life, to the top of the world, literally.
I don’t think any challenge is too great. I want people to chase after their own dreams. ~ Sean Swarner
Uncover Sean’s story: Video
United States[testimonial company="Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Asthma, UltraRunner" author="Summer Wesson" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Summer-Wesson.jpg"]
- An Arthritic, Asthmatic, Accident Prone Ectomorph’s Guide to Overcoming Odds
- Summer was born to be arthritic, asthmatic and accident prone.
At 5 years old, she diagnosed with severe asthma.
At 18 years old, she was diagnosed with the auto immune disease juvenille rheumatoid arthritis.
PLUS told by numerous doctors she would never be able to run or lift weights.
- At 33 years old, Summer was having FUN proving them all wrong.
- They stand at the start of just a marathon giggling:
“I signed up yesterday,” Alexa giggled.
“Crap, I think I forgot to eat breakfast!” Summer suddenly realizes.
They were a tad unprepared; neither had run 26.2 in a while — but then again they are 100 mile racers.
- Seeing Carl to my right as I sprinted towards the finish meant so much to me.
He never once tried to talk me out of this, and things could have gone VERY wrong that day.
But he trusted me to know my body and he believed in me.
I couldn’t have made it across that finish line without his constant support.
And having Eric brag on me a little on the Team CrossFit Academy facebook page made me realize that he still considered me his ‘racer’… it silenced my fears and encouraged me beyond words.
This gave me confidence, happiness and an overall sense of achievement.
Yesterday I proved to myself that my mind is stronger than my body.
I needed a ‘win’ in my life, so I created one.
Today I am a little sore, a little tired, but as happy as I could possibly be.
My 100 mile race is in less 4 weeks… and I’m starting to believe I’m actually going to pull this off!
~ Summer Wesson
Uncover Summer’s story: Racer Wesson
Canada[testimonial company="Canadian humanitarian, Athlete, Cancer Research Activist" author="Terry Fox" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Terry-Fox.jpg"]
- Terry Fox was born on July 28, 1958.
Terry Fox passed away on June 28, 1981.
Terry was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist.
- His right leg was amputated in 1977 after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
A highschool and university distance runner and basketball player, he continued to run and play basketball using an artificial leg and wheelchair.
- Terry’s passion lay in basketball and pursued getting onto the grade eight team.
His physical education teacher felt he was better suited to be a distance runner and encouraged him to take up the sport.
With no desire for cross-country running, he only took it up out of respect to please his coach.
Fox played only one minute in his grade eight season but dedicated his summers to improving his play.
He became a regular player in grade nine and earned a starting position in grade ten.
In grade 12, he won his high school’s athlete of the year award jointly with his best friend Doug Alward.
- In November 1976, as Fox was driving home, he became distracted by nearby bridge construction and crashed into the back of a pickup truck.
While his car was left undriveable, Fox emerged with only a sore right knee.
He again felt pain in December, but chose to ignore it until the end of basketball season.
By March 1977, the pain had intensified and he finally went to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of cancer that often starts near the knees.
He was told that his leg had to be amputated, he would require chemotherapy treatment, and that recent medical advances meant he had a 50 percent chance of survival.
Fox learned that two years before the figure would have been only 15 percent; the improvement in survival rates impressed on him the value of cancer research.
- With the help of an artificial leg, Fox was walking three weeks after the amputation.
He endured sixteen months of chemotherapy and found the time he spent in the British Columbia Cancer Control Agency facility difficult as he watched fellow cancer patients suffer and die from the disease.
Fox ended his treatment with new purpose: he felt he owed his survival to medical advances and wished to live his life in a way that would help others find courage.
In the summer of 1977 Rick Hansen, working with the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association, invited Fox to try out for his wheelchair basketball team.
Although he was undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the time, Fox’s energy impressed Hansen.
Less than two months after learning how to play the sport, Fox was named a member of the team for the national championship in Edmonton.
He won three national titles with the team, and was named an all-star by the North American Wheelchair Basketball Association in 1980.
- The night before his cancer surgery, Fox had been given an article about Dick Traum, the first amputee to complete the New York City Marathon.
The article inspired him; he embarked on a 14-month training program, telling his family he planned to compete in a marathon himself.
In private, he devised a more extensive plan. His hospital experiences had made Fox angry at how little money was dedicated to cancer research.
He intended to run the length of Canada in the hope of increasing cancer awareness, a goal he initially only divulged to his friend Douglas Alward.
In August 1979, Fox competed in a marathon in Prince George, British Columbia.
He finished in last place, ten minutes behind his closest competitor, but his effort was met with tears and applause from the other participants.
Following the marathon, he revealed his full plan to his family.
His mother discouraged him, angering Fox, though she later came to support the project.
She recalled, “He said, ‘I thought you’d be one of the first persons to believe in me.’ And I wasn’t. I was the first person who let him down”.
Fox initially hoped to raise $1 million, then $10 million, but later sought to raise $1 for each of Canada’s 24 million people.
- The Marathon began on April 12, 1980, when Fox dipped his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, Newfoundland, and filled two large bottles with ocean water.
He intended to keep one as a souvenir and pour the other into the Pacific Ocean upon completing his journey at Victoria, British Columbia.
Fox was supported on his run by Doug Alward, who drove the van and cooked meals.
Fox was met with gale force winds, heavy rain and a snowstorm in the first days of his run.
He was initially disappointed with the reception he received, but was heartened upon arriving in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, where the town’s 10,000 residents presented him with a donation of over $10,000.
Throughout the trip, Fox frequently expressed his anger and frustration to those he saw as impeding the run, and he fought regularly with Alward.
By the time they reached Nova Scotia, they were barely on speaking terms, and it was arranged for Fox’s brother Darrell, then 17, to join them as a buffer.
Fox left the Maritimes on June 10 and faced new challenges entering Quebec due to his group’s inability to speak French and drivers who continually forced him off the road.
Fox arrived in Montreal on June 22, one-third of the way through his 8,000-kilometre (5,000 mi) journey, having collected over $200,000 in donations.
The physical demands of running a marathon every day took its toll on Fox’s body.
Apart from the rest days in Montreal taken at the request of the Cancer Society, he refused to take a day off, even on his 22nd birthday.
He frequently suffered shin splints and an inflamed knee. He developed cysts on his stump and experienced dizzy spells.
At one point, he suffered a soreness in his ankle that would not go away. Although he feared he had developed a stress fracture, he ran for three more days before seeking medical attention, and was then relieved to learn it was tendonitis and could be treated with painkillers.
Fox rejected calls for him to seek regular medical checkups, and dismissed suggestions he was risking his future health.
On September 1, outside of Thunder Bay, he was forced to stop briefly after he suffered an intense coughing fit and experienced pains in his chest.
Unsure what to do, he resumed running as the crowds along the highway shouted out their encouragement.
A few miles later, short of breath and with continued chest pain, he asked Alward to drive him to a hospital.
He feared immediately that he had run his last kilometer.
The next day, Fox held a tearful press conference during which he announced that his cancer had returned and spread to his lungs.
He was forced to end his run after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi).
Fox refused offers to complete the run in his stead, stating that he wanted to complete his marathon himself.
- Fox expressed a robust attitude to his situation: he refused to regard himself as disabled, and would not allow anyone to pity him, telling a Toronto radio station that he found life more “rewarding and challenging” since he had lost his leg.
His feat helped redefine Canadian views of disability and the inclusion of the disabled in society.
Fox’s actions increased the visibility of people with disabilities, and in addition influenced the attitudes of those with disabilities, by showing them disability portrayed in a positive light.
Rick Hansen commented that the run challenged society to focus on ability rather than disability.
What was perceived as a limitation became a great opportunity. People with disabilities started looking at things differently. They came away with huge pride.”
Dreams are made possible if you try. ~ Terry Fox
Visit Terry’s Website: Terry Fox
United States[testimonial company="Single Parent Awareness Advocate, Motivator, Speaker, Author, Consultant, Marathoner" author="Terry Hitchcock" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Terry-Hitchcock.jpg"]
- In 1984, Terry’s wife Sue dies of breast cancer. Only a few days later he loses his job. Suddenly, he finds himself alone with his three young children and no income; fighting off loneliness and depression.
- In 1996, at the age of 57, Terry Hitchcock runs the equivalent of 75 consecutive marthons in 75 consecutive days.
He travels over 2,000 miles to bring awareness to the financial and emotional hardships faced by single parents and their children — everyday heroes who run quiet, yet extraordinary daily marathons.
- My Run tells this story. Narrated by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton, this powerful and uplifting documentary exemplifies a commitment to something greater than yourself and achieving something deemed impossible.
I firmly believe human beings can accomplish anything they put their minds to. All they need to get started is someone to show them it’s possible. ~ Terry Hitchcock
Uncover Terry’s story with this DVD: MyRunMovie.com
United States[testimonial company="Marathoner, Mom" author="Tricia Minnick" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Tricia-Minnick.jpg"]
- Before: 278 lbs After: 150 lbs
- By the time she got married in 2006, she was carrying more than 200 pounds on her 5’8″ frame.
- Shortly after Tricia had her son, she and her family moved from Texas to Stuart, Florida. Isolated from friends and extended family, she turned to food for comfort. With the scale stuck at 278 pounds, she says, “I was completely overwhelmed by how much I needed to lose.”
- By January 2009, Tricia’s doctor warned her that she might need blood pressure medication. And when she found herself breathless trying to keep up with her son, Dash, Tricia realized her weight affected him too. “I didn’t want him to face the physical or emotional issues that I had,” she says. She gave herself a year to drop 100 pounds.
- She broke out a neglected jogging stroller and started taking her son for walks. She couldn’t go very far at first, but by the end of three weeks, she was logging six miles a day and had dropped 20 pounds.
- Tricia then started using weights at home for 30 minutes twice a week, and by March, at 240 pounds, her blood pressure returned to normal. That September, she met her 100-pound goal but wasn’t ready to stop. She began jogging four days a week, and in March 2010, her scale hit 150. “I’ve never felt better,” she says.
I’ve always envied runners. I would notice them, running along, in their own world.
Growing up, I had always hated running, probably because it had been used a form of punishment in school. But those runners had to know something I didn’t, and I wanted to find out their secret.
Why did they run? And could I?
I decided to sign up for a 5K. Whether I ended up loving or hating running (and my money was on “hating”), I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. And I did.
By the time I crossed my first finish line I realized that I no longer dreaded the idea of running, instead I was already thinking about new distances.
The miles started adding up, and the pounds kept coming up. At my 1 year mark I had lost 118 pounds, within the next 2 months I would lose 10 more bringing down to 150 pounds.
In those 14 months I had lost 128 pounds and found a passion for running.
- The woman who once got winded grocery shopping ran her first marathon in November 2010.
- A marathon has always been something that has inspired awe and more than a little fear in me.
Throughout the past two years I have learned the most about myself when I face my fears.
Marathon training has been a journey of self-discovery for me.
I have learned something new about myself during each run.
As the miles increased, the emotions became stronger.
The only way I can describe it is: the long runs tear me down, and then build me back up. I come out of each run a stronger person.
We grow because we struggle, we learn and overcome.
Crossing the finish line, I felt as if I could do anything.
I’m healthier and happier than ever.
Visit Tricia’s Website: to discover her story
United States[testimonial company="Philanthropist, Back-break Recovery, Marathoner" author="Vicky Grove" image="http://timetokickbuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Vicky-Grove.jpg"]
- And the stories finish with two young women, Vicky Grove and Anna Ridout, an ultra-inspiring best friend duo intent on running the Paris Marathon, then running from Paris to London, and finishing with the London Marathon… in total, it works out to be 8 marathons in 8 days!
- In February 2011, Vicky, having just graduated from university, was on her Gap year in Chile and had a terrible accident while rock climbing.
A rock fell on her, cutting two inches deep and breaking three vertebrae in her back. The injuries were quite severe and initially it was touch-and-go as to whether Vicky might ever walk again.
Vicky has fought her way back to good health with only, in her words, “a scar and a good story to tell.”
What Vicky was inspired to do was help others in the same situation who were not as lucky.
When she found out the Paris and London marathons were a week apart this year, she came up with the idea of running both events and running the distance between them.
Together, with her best friend Anna, they have been training since November.
The Paris marathon kicked off on Sunday, April 15 2012 and the girls set off, all the while fundraising for two UK charities, Aspire and Backup — who provide support for those affected by spinal cord injuries.
In addition to their gruelling training, they have organised all kinds of fundraising runs and activities for their chosen charities, and they have now surpassed their original fundraising target of £5000 which is phenomenal.
Uncover Vicky’s story: Paris to London Run
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