BENEFITING: THE IM ABLE FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: THE IM ABLE FOUNDATION
My name is Kelly and I LOVE TO RUN! I didn’t always though, it has been a long amazing journey for me and Im proud to be able to tell my story. In 2006 I sustained severe injuries due to a car accident. I hit an S curve going too fast and my car flipped 2 times onto a major highway. I was medivacked to Lehigh Valley hospital where they found I had 6 skull fractures, a broken nose and toe, extensive nerve damage to my eyes, one was sealed shut so I had limited vision, a blood spot on the brain, and a minor tear on my carotid artery in my neck. I couldn’t walk for 11 days, recovery took over 6 months at Good Shepard Rehabilitation Center, including physical, occupational, and aqua therapy. I have had 3 eye surgeries to date and no vision in my left eye.
Many years passed of not talking about what happened and being embarrassed and cautious about showing my left eye and not really knowing where my place was and what I was here for. 2012 came and something amazing happened….. I found running! I wasn’t good at it at all! I wasn’t even able to run ½ mile without stopping or being out of breath. Once I was able to go over a mile without stopping…. I was UNSTOPPABLE and it lit a fire in me! I loved it. I ran to the gym, I ran to work, I ran to friends’ houses. I was so proud of the 45lbs I shed in that year and all the hard work and dedication I found again within myself! I remember looking in the mirror one day thinking “I spent so much time feeling sorry for myself and look what I can do? Look how many people aren’t as lucky as I am. I am alive, I can walk, and I can RUN!!”
From this journey, I made amazing friends and met some wonderful inspiring people. These people became like my family. They provided me with heart, inspiration and never let me give up even when it was tough. My quest continued into 2013 knocked out 450 miles, and two half marathons with proud family and best friends by my side. It was then I realized running was MY passion but there had to be a way I can take this and put it to good use. I wanted to encourage and help and finally share my story for anyone else out there who might have been silently feeling sorry for themselves, or even worse, someone who had a dream but just didn’t know how to make it come true.
I decided to run for IM ABLE because last November I watched my friend Christina run the NYC Marathon for this wonderful foundation. She is so passionate and dedicated to it that I knew it must be something special. I am proud to be a part of IM ABLE and I hope I can inspire someone just as Christina inspired me. Their main goal is to help all individuals realize the potential to go further and push harder than their preconceived limits to show the possibilities are endless. They use hand cycles, racing chairs, adaptive skis and other advancements in technology, it is possible for anyone who has a disability to increase their fitness level. I love this mission statement, because it really opens our eyes to the belief that ANYONE can run any distance they want. You just need the heart and the desire. On November 2nd 2014 I will proudly run for everyone out there who has big dreams and high hopes but just may not be able to reach them yet! I hope anyone who once thought “I cant do that” reads this and considers saying “You know what I CAN DO IT, I AM ABLE!”
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been a part of my life. Each person who helped me and believed in me is the reason I am here today! All my love to the moon and back.-- Kelly <3